By LESLIE HUENKE
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, students across the Francis Howell School District have the opportunity, throughout the entire month of February, to learn more about computer science and discover their love for coding during “We Love to Code” month. Schools across the district have special activities planned for students as they dig deeper into learning about programming and coding. Students in elementary schools will engage in challenges through Code.org while other students will build robots and program them to use LEGOS 2.0.
Students in middle schools will receive a visit from staff members of Mastercard in O’Fallon. Mastercard will offer unplugged coding activities for the students. They will learn the background of coding and how Mastercard uses computer programing in an everyday work environment. Many students will also participate in activities involving Sphero Robots. High school students will participate in road block and unplugged coding, as well as play games with Scratch, a programming language and online community where users can create interactive games and animations.
“Our workforce is changing, so we need more individuals to be able to program the robots that are now doing the labor in place of people,” April Burton, instruction technology content leader, said. “We need kids who can solve computer problems that we haven’t been able to solve before.”
The goal of “We Love to Code” month is also to introduce students to lessons early in their academic experience that could lead to potential careers.