By Daniel Stone
Ogden’s Exploring Computer Science (ECS) class is in its second year, and the course is growing! Computer science courses have been identified across the country as being key to future success. In the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field, jobs are in computing account for 71% of new jobs, and computing occupations are largest source of all new wages in the U.S. (Source: Code.org) With computers shrinking in size and growing in number, it’s more important than ever for students to have a solid foundation in how computers work and are applied to solve problems.
Students practiced their skills to do everything from coordinating movement of objects in paths across the screen, to developing looped algorithms to code more efficiently, and even create their own games. Students collaborate to help each other, and challenge each other through games and other work that they do in the course.
Additionally, we have had the opportunity to connect one class of students with Big Brothers Big Sisters and provide mentors to students. Mentors are professionals from a variety of backgrounds, and they interact through an online social media platform and in a few in-person class visits through the year. Most mentoring is done as students work through an online curriculum that helps them consider college and career goals and what steps they need to take to achieve those goals.
Students will continue to practice coding and will soon start their own web design using Thimble, and then to more complex block-based programming in MIT’s Scratch coding environment. Ogden’s Exploring Computer Science course will help students understand computers and computational thinking to help them make the most of technology and get an edge in the pursuit of their hopes and dreams!
This blog has contributions from a variety of faculty and staff at Ogden International.