Get Into STEM with Coding!
The curriculum for our coding classes was developed back in July when we were restructuring our STEM programs to offer them online. These coding for children lessons are all games and animations that can be made in an easy platform, and their intent is to teach our students the core aspects of programming logic that are so vital to develop interest in STEM.
The Scratch platform allowed us to make some very fun stuff! For example, the kids really liked a tennis game we developed, especially because some of them enjoyed playing and watching real-life tennis matches. In game projects that involve heroes and ghosts, children were able to make full use of their imaginations and create their own characters. It has been great to see most of our students come back for more Extra Ed coding lessons, a sign that they have been truly enjoying the course.
This program also transforms coding from an abstract combination of words into concrete applications that relate to problems young students face in their real lives. When decisions need to be made, for instance, people rely on different conditions to decide what to do. In Scratch, programming blocks that contain conditional statements may be compared to how drivers need to act when they see a traffic light:
- If the light is red, then I need to stop the car and wait until I can go again.
- If the light is yellow, then I need to reduce my speed and stop before it turns red.
- If the light is green, then I am free to go!
Python coding for kids is another great coding program. On this course, students learn how real programming languages work and develop projects that involve clever solutions to complex problems. They also learn how computers read and interpret code under the hood, and how to write efficient and well-documented code.
Having organized documentation is important even for the ones who do not wish to pursue a career in coding and development, as it helps everyone to communicate ideas and work well within groups. And the ones who wish to go on and program when they grow up, they will have a blast with all the proper naming conventions and how much they help when reading code – especially when reading someone else’s code!
The classes we teach go over the entire syntax and structure of Python language. Moving away from the conditional statements examples, we can dive deep into loops, which are some of the most amazing tools of coding! Loops allow young programmers to make computers perform the same action multiple times in a row – with a few tweaks – for as long as they want. So, if they want the computer to roll a die until the result is 6, they can do so with just a few lines of code, instead of having to write code for each die-roll individually.
Coding is a fantastic science, and it is here to make the lives of everyone easier. And Extra Ed does the amazing job of turning it into a fun and engaging experience.
You can check out our incredible Online Comic Book Art Programs and a ton of other great Extra Ed courses through our Extra Ed content calendar.