Mohonasen High School celebrated Computer Science Education Week this week with three afterschool events that provided students with a hands-on introduction to computer science and computer programming.
An “Hour of Code” was held Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 4-6, attracting more than 100 students who got a beginner’s lesson in coding with the help of some of the school’s Computer Science students. Spearheaded by teacher Maureen Conway, all high school students were encouraged to participate. Doing so came with a perk: extra credit.
With laptops and Chromebooks in hand, groups of student showed up at the cafeteria and logged on to learn more the about the programming languages that are used to develop computer software applications, video games, music and more.
“I enjoy coding and find it interesting,” said Margison, who was writing code in a program called Counter Hack. “My grandmother is the one who introduced me to it. She is a computer programmer.”
Others, like Mootoo, were trying their hand at coding for the first time.
“It’s pretty easy to pick up,” Mootoo said.
The Hour of Code at Mohonasen was one of more than 200,000 events taking place worldwide this week to show that anybody can learn coding basics and to broaden participation in the field of computer science.
Several students who are currently enrolled in the high school’s Computer Science class answered questions and provided pointers to the novice coders, who included several faculty members.
While nearly all of the students at the event were clearly enjoying their programming experience and were looking forward to trying it again, one stood alone with a candid take on why he is not a huge fan of coding.
“There’s just too much room for error,” said Emilio Verno, a senior. “When there’s a problem, you have to go back and look at everything to try to figure out what went wrong.”
Sitting across from him, Verno’s friend, Emily Ellers, laughed and said that’s exactly the kind of challenge she enjoys.
“The problem solving is the best part,” said Ellers, a senior who took Computer Science her junior year and hopes to study software engineering or cybersecurity after graduation.
Despite her upbeat attitude, Ellers couldn’t sway Varno, who wasn’t sold on the joys of coding. Instead, Varno shook his head and was more matter-of-fact when asked why he chose to join the coding event and enroll in Computer Science.
“I want to study engineering, so I have to take it,” said the senior.
All students who participated in the Hour of Code received a certificate of completion. Learn more about the Hour of Code.