Pelham students participate in Hour of Code

Published 3:46 pm Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Pelham High School robotics student shows second-graders the VEX robot he and his teammates created. (Contributed)

Pelham High School robotics student shows second-graders the VEX robot he and his teammates created. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— During Computer Science Education Week, eight Pelham High School students took a field trip to Valley Elementary to teach its second-graders about coding.

The students were participating in an Hour of Code, an international initiative meant to introduce computer science to students of all ages so they all can learn the basics of coding.

“Coding is, in itself, a language,” said PHS robotics student Jon Drake. “As we know, starting from when we are born learning English, it’s a lot easier than now trying to learn a foreign language. It’s easier to start them younger so they can learn the basic steps and build on that as they get older.”

Robotics students Stephen Dailey and Christian Geocke also participated in the Hour of Code. Each of the PHS students had about 40 kids, and they helped them with Microsoft coding and programs.

Dailey said the students chose between Star Wars or Minecraft coding exercises. The students participated in interactive programing, telling the program how to do things.

“It’s awesome how quickly they pick it up,” Drake said. “It took us maybe two levels of and they were starting to get it.”

The students also brought one of their VEX robots to show the kids. Geocke said the kids really enjoyed getting to see the robot zip back and forth down the hall.

Dailey said the students also seemed comfortable with the high schoolers, asking questions and showing an interest in the engineering and robotics.

“I think it makes it easier on them because sometimes they are afraid to ask teachers questions,” Dailey said.

“It’s like that could be me in 10 years, and it’s easier if they want to aspire to (be doing) what we are doing,” Geocke added. “We are more relatable because some of them have siblings in high school.”

They all said they enjoyed getting to see how engineering and computer programing was being implemented in the lower grade levels. Dailey said they are starting a robotics class at the intermediate school in January, so he enjoyed learning what they would be taught.

“It was great to see that these kids already have an idea of wanting to do something engineering related or robotics related,” Geocke said.