Students are Cracking the Code

Students are Cracking the Code
Posted on 04/24/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Students are Cracking the CodeNew Coding Club

The future is looking bright for a group of tech-savvy students in grades 4-6, at Kenora Catholic, thanks to a new pilot program that's teaching them the basics of coding in a fun and engaging way.

The pilot program was carried out in partnership with FSET Inc., a local Information Technology Service provider based out of Kenora.

Over the course of the program, students have been learning how to use code to create animations, games, and other digital projects. Guided by experienced instructors from FSET Inc., they've been introduced to key concepts such as variables, loops, and functions, and have been putting those concepts into practice by building their own projects from scratch.
Stephanie Sweeney, Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact Lead, and Jared Ralko Learning Technologies Coordinator reported on the project at the March 28 Board Meeting.

Students in Coding Club"The project was designed to give students a foundational understanding of coding concepts and how to apply them to real-world problems," said Stephanie Sweeney. "It’s part of a larger effort to equip students with STEM skills that will help prepare them for the rapidly changing digital world and essential skills that will be in high demand in the future job market.”

According to Jared Ralko, the goal of the program is to provide students with a foundational understanding of coding and inspire them to explore the possibilities of technology. "We want to give our students the tools they need to succeed in a world that's increasingly driven by technology, but we also want to show them that coding can be fun and creative and that there are endless possibilities for what they can create."

Through a video shared at the Board Meeting, students on the other hand expressed their excitement about learning new skills, making new friends, with many reporting that they want to continue exploring coding in the future.

New Coding ClubCameron Wyder, Grade 6 student from École Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys said, “learning coding can help you by automating tasks, creating things, creating software, making games, and lots of other stuff. If you want to develop video games or work at Google this will help you.”

Grade 5 student, Frankie said, “every week we were always learning new things in Coding Club, and we learned to build something different every time.”

“I liked learning from FSET because they are professionals, and they could really help people that were starting out. My favourite part was learning about Python,” said Stavros a Grade 6 student from St. John Paul II School.

Aethan a Grade 4 student from St. John Paul II School said, his favourite part about coding was meeting new friends. “They taught me everything about coding, and I learned those skills so I can use them in the future.”

Nicole Brown, FSET’s Chief Operating Officer was pleased with the pilot program. "At FSET, we believe in Innovation Empowering People, and with this Coding Club, the beneficiaries were KCDSB students," said Nicole Brown, the company's COO. "When it comes to STEM, the pursuit of knowledge is never-ending, and we were honoured to kickstart such an important educational journey for the Club's many young learners. Their passion for computer science was inspirational, it's clear to me that we can develop the next generation of coders, developers, system & network engineers right here, right now in our own backyard."

As the pilot program comes to a close, plans are already underway to expand it in the future and provide even more opportunities for students to learn and grow through coding.

Jared Ralko talked about what is happening next.

“Because this pilot went so well, we heard right away from our partners at FSET that they would love to continue with the Junior Coding Club because they really enjoyed how much they were able to influence the younger students and spark a passion in them,” he said. “We are also looking at expanding the partnership to have students at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in the Computer Sciences Program, receive an IT Fundamentals Certification, which is an industry certificate.”

FSET Partners with new Coding Club

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