Coding gains popularity

Schools provide more coding classes as interest increases

Lexi Shoup

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Coding is becoming one of the most important skills to master for people joining the workforce mastered, and students now have the opportunity to take different classes that teach coding and computer science, although that is not the case for all schools in the US.

A recent push to convince schools to add coding to their curriculums have been backed by big tech companies like Apple and Microsoft, and websites like Code.org.

Code.org, founded in 2012 by Hadi Partovi, set a goal to get every public school in the US to teach computer science. The organization provides free coding lessons for beginners called the Hour of Code, which has been attempted by 10% of the world’s students, according to their website.

New Trier offers both computer science and AP computer science as year long math classes available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

There is also the Introduction to Design Technology/Introduction to Computer Science class, which is an applied art under the technology-education courses category. The iOS app development course is a business education class.

There are also a few coding focused clubs such as Cyber Security Club and Computer Science Club where students can meet and collaborate on computer science topics.

Outside of online resources and classes at New Trier, there are also local courses available in the community. The Winnetka Community House provides courses for young kids to get involved in coding. North Shore Codes holds classes for beginners to learn how to build an iPhone app in one week.

Despite the resources available, many students have not been exposed to coding, or have only spent a class period or two playing games like Light Bot in their math classes.

“I played Light Bot during my freshman year geometry class but haven’t done any other coding through the school. It was a good introduction for most of the class that hadn’t been exposed to coding before,” said senior Emma Yang.

“My teacher gave us extra credit for finishing an hour of coding, which was a nice incentive to get it done, and the game itself was fun,” she said.

Junior Molly Van Gorp doesn’t have any experience with coding. “I’ve never done any coding before but I’m definitely interested in learning. I’m even considering taking a computer science class next year. Coding is becoming a vital skill for people to have and I want to take advantage of the opportunities we have here.”

On the other hand, there is a growing population of students that dedicate a good fraction of their extracurricular time to coding and learning how to code. Senior Ilana Nazari started learning how to code as a sophomore and has been continuing to learn new programs and languages.

“I am a part of the Society of Women in Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Science. We try to integrate coding lessons into what we do. There are fewer women than men going into computer science majors and professions. I think it is important to teach girls some introductory things so they can see if computer science is something they want to pursue,” said Nazari.

Coding is becoming important knowledge and is being integrated into public school curriculums across the nation. The growing industry requires more and more students to understand coding and computers. New Trier already offers students the opportunities they need to get involved with coding.

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