Computer science is an integral part of many high school Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. It is foundational in nature, as students who study computer science are able to understand and learn more about creating websites, coding computer and gaming programs, and using technology in many other useful ways.
At St. Joan of Arc Catholic School, junior high students get an early jump on learning to code. "Coding is a required semester-long class for all sixth graders," explained Tanya Anderson, sixth grade science teacher at SJA. "This year our students will be learning basic HTML to create and publish their own website. Students will also learn the Java programming language so they can create their own interactive game."
According to Anderson, the coding class exposes students to computer science and allows them to explore different areas of technology that they may want to study in the future. "This is the second year we're offering the class to our sixth graders," she said. "Last year's class really enjoyed the program. They did a very nice job on their websites and were excited to share the completed projects with their families."
The curriculum for SJA's coding class is from Code.org. "We're using Computer Science Discoveries, which is described as an introductory computer science course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun," said Anderson. "I think one of the best things we can do for our students as junior high teachers is to expose them to as many different career fields and areas of study as possible within our subject matter. This will help them decide what interests them and what they may want to pursue in the future."
For more information about the coding class offered to sixth graders at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School, please contact:
St. Joan of Arc Catholic School and Church
Pre-K through 8th grade
820 Division Street, Lisle, IL