Students train to become coding Jedis

Students train to become coding Jedis

MARQUETTE — Student across the UP are learning more about what happens behind the scenes of a machine. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac has more about how this international program is helping students in Marquette.

Students at Marquette Area Public Schools are learning more this week about computer science.

The force is strong with these ones, some more than others, but these young padawans can start with the basics through a program called “Hour of Code.”

Science Teacher at Marquette Senior High School Becky Simmons says, “Hour of Code is a national, well actually, it’s an international program that is put out to try to help expose students to coding, and so to give students across the world a chance to experience it. We find that many students don’t try it on their own, and it’s something that there’s a lot of fear attached to it, and so this program helps make it a little more user friendly so people can give it a try.”

You may be asking yourself, what is code?

Matthew Schlinkert, a Freshmen student at Marquette Senior High School, says, “I would describe it as the brain of the operation, you know, it’s like the blood, or what it uses to know what to do.”

Hailey Graves, also a Freshman student at Marquette Senior High School, says, “If you read it then it’s really easy to understand =, like you don’t even need to know what you’re doing – you just read it, you can understand what’s going on, what they’re doing, and how it’s happening. It’s quite easy. It is kind of like learning a second language, and it’s like English in a different way.”

If code was a second language, it would be the language of computers and machines. This is a valuable language to know since just about every profession now-a-days uses a computer in some way.

“We started doing this program three years ago, but in those three years I’ve watched it grow immensely. So much so we’ve actually started a club after the first year. So our Digital Makers Club was kind of brought on by an Hour of Code event. We have many beginners, but we also have a few pockets of students that have been doing this since their elementary years and actually have made programs and games and actually have things that they’d like to market to the community. So it’s exciting that way.”

When it comes to the computer sciences and coding, girls and minorities are severely underrepresented – which is why the non-profit Code.org is trying to make it easy for anyone to learn code through tutorial games on their website.

This year the tutorial games are based on Star Wars, Frozen and Minecraft.

For a link to start your own Hour of Code at home click here.