Coding in the Classroom

In computer science, “code” refers to a precise set of instructions that tells a computer what to do. Computer code is written in different “languages” that computers can understand, with names like Python, C++, Perl, and Visual Basic. Although you can’t see it, computer code is all around us. Plenty of everyday items like cellphones, smart watches, cars, and even microwaves have computer programs in them that rely on code to make them work. Whether you are sending a tweet, creating an Instagram story, or paying at the store with your debit card, lines of code are invisibly making these things happen.

In recent years, technology educators have been highlighting the benefits of students learning to write computer code in school, arguing that it enhances mathematical thinking, facilitates creativity, and opens young people to careers in a growing industry. Our Library Media Specialist Ms. Rodowsky agrees! Her middle school students in Technology class have recently been learning the basics of coding through the website, a nonprofit organization that focuses on expanding access to computer science in schools with high percentages of women and underrepresented minorities. is introducing the students to the computer science world via scaffolded activities (meaning they start out easy and get harder) that teach them to program simple actions and commands. Best of all, students learn basic coding skills via characters and designs from popular video games that they recognize, like Angry Birds and Minecraft. While all of the students are doing a great job learning the basics, two students are really showing a lot of promise: Rashaun Benner-Jefferson and Jamal Jackson have far exceeded expectations and may be well on their way to a bright future in programming!

Click here to try some basic coding for yourself with the characters from Angry Birds.