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Coding at Maplewood

By Torie Camp

Nine Maplewood 4th graders recently gathered in the library A/V room as a part of Maplewood’s Coding Club. As students arrive, they confidently select a computer from the computer cart, plug in head phones and log onto their computers and accounts. This is the fourth meeting of this club and students know what to do. If there are questions, students ask each other for help or if they get really stuck, they can ask their “guru,” Maplewood mom and computer science club leader, Kristen Taylor.

Students utilize scratch.mit.edu along with cs-first.com to work through a series of 8 lessons. The lessons are centered around a theme such as Music and Sound or Storytelling.

Students enjoy the lessons and frequently share their successes with their peers. “I like the computer science club because it gives me a chance to understand how computer scientists use code to make computers do whatever we want them to do,” said Iris Nicholson.

The Coding Club is the brain child of Kristin Taylor, Mr. Ludlow, 4th grade teacher, and Ms. Braziel, Maplewood’s librarian. A 5th grade group of students meets during lunch once a week and another group of 4th and 5th graders meets Thursday afternoons.

Ms. Braziel is currently looking for parents interested in helping with an “Hour of Code ™” event in early December to give every Maplewood student an opportunity to try coding. Contact her at Amanda.braziel@austinisd.org if you can help or just sign up at http://signup.com/go/tghg2w.

The ‘Hour of Code™’ is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and code.org to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.

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Photos by Torie Camp. Used with permission.