Led by Mr. Richard Sivernell and Megan Hansen
I [Richard] enjoy working with students and building stronger pathways for students.
My name is Megan Hansen, and I am interested in starting a coding club at CCA, focusing on Python. I attended CCA from 2001 through 2010, and I am truly grateful for the technology education I received in Seth Geltman’s Computers class. Despite being very comfortable using computers going into high school, I avoided taking coding-based electives because I was intimidated, and I didn’t learn how to code until I was well into college. Even then, I largely had to teach myself Python because I knew that would greatly improve my chances of finding internships and jobs. Since then, Python has become my superpower, allowing me to pursue a rewarding career in data science that pays well and also gives me a healthy work/life balance.
What Students Will be Coding
Python is a general-purpose coding language which is consistently rated by software developers as one of the most popular coding languages. Its uses are endless, and include data analytics, machine learning, and mobile app development. As compared to other coding languages, Python has simple syntax and is intended to be read like one would read plain-text, making it accessible for students. Once students have a basic understanding of Python, it is easier for them to learn other coding languages, opening the doors for many different career paths.
What Students Will Gain
By making coding skills accessible to students now, CCA will give students a head start with a skill that is, and will continue to be, highly sought after by colleges and employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer jobs are expected to grow 25% in the next ten years, with the average growth rate across all occupations being 3%. The salaries for coding jobs also far outpace the national average. The median salary for software developers in 2022 was $124,200, while the median annual wage for all workers was $46,310.
Why Students Should Learn to Code
Beyond the future career benefits, students will have fun creating projects geared towards their individual interests while honing problem-solving and analysis skills, like finding errors and thinking logically.
Coding Club will meet every Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 in the Innovation Area, and will be open to third through eighth graders. We will start in January 2024 and plan on going through the end of April. I will facilitate coding lessons and Rich will help students troubleshoot any issues they have with their computers.
Each student will need access to Chromebooks or a comparable computer that has permission to use Google Colab. Google Colab is a service that provides free access to computing services with Python already installed, and is well-suited for students learning how to code.
We will start with the basics of Python, including syntax, variables, and data types. Students will learn these skills by interacting with lessons that we would design to be used in Google Colab. Once they have mastered the basics, students could select their own projects in order to pursue an area of coding that they are interested in learning more about, like machine learning or web design.
Wednesdays from 3:30 - 4:30 pm