Crazy for Coding

By Sakib Azgar & Shohom Chakraborty

The influence of technology on modern society has rapidly increased in the past decade through inventions such as Tesla’s self-driving cars and Amazon’s Alexa. These innovations in the field have inspired many young people in society to pursue careers in the technology industry. However, an issue that arises is that many adolescents are often not sure where exactly to start. For example, many students at New Hyde Park Memorial High School have not been exposed to computer programming, the basic foundation of all these technological achievements, and what made them into a reality. Some can argue that the reason for this is that the school does not offer a properly structured curriculum for it.

...with schools struggling to help, coding classes will relieve that aching to create, to express, and to code...

Why should students be interested in computer science in the first place? Programming is the way that developers get computers to perform certain tasks. However, coding can be used to create almost anything, from video games to artificial intelligence. A programmer’s computer is a medium to express creativity, like an artist’s canvas or a musician’s instrument. Programmers are given a lot of freedom to come up with ideas and be creative. Exposing the youth to programming could be a huge opportunity for them to try something new and to think outside the box.

“In a time where everything is online, expressing ourselves is one of the hardest things we can do. With schools struggling to help, coding classes will relieve that aching to create, to express, and to code,” said seventh grader Aaryan Kapoor.

Learning how to program can also lead to potential internships or jobs at high-tech companies such as Google and Microsoft. In fact, software development is one of the most in-demand jobs in the market. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in software development jobs is projected to jump by 22% in ten years. Coding also opens the doors to other career paths, like data science and electrical engineering.

“Learning to code is essential in this day and age. For our district’s robotics team, although my role is primarily designing, I continuously tried to learn how to program. Coding goes beyond our robot and ultimately gives me a greater edge against my counterparts in whichever engineering career I pursue,” said senior Jada Seto.

Source by Divya Gottiparthy

Many students pursue an interest in coding by completing independent projects.

Although many kids yearn to participate in coding classes, none of that can be achieved without a plan. Without a proper foundation, students will not know the basic skills that are essential for higher-level coding. Therefore, the computer science curriculum must be structured accordingly. Certain courses allow for a thorough foundation for programming. In the following paragraphs are two detailed courses that would enhance the development of computer science for NHP students.

Introduction to Coding: This course teaches students the basic ideas of programming, different types of errors, and conditional statements. They will learn how to code with Scratch (block coding) and Python (the most widespread programming language, but also one of the most capable to learn).

AP Computer Science A: This course teaches the fundamentals of programming Java instead of Scratch and Python. Java is a popular programming language that introduces more advanced concepts like type definitions. This could be another AP science course students could take.

Although these courses are just suggestions, students can take action, too. Students with prior computer science knowledge could teach others and create a coding club. Perhaps programmers at our school can come together and host competitive programming tournaments, work on a game, or other coding related activities. Whether the school adds these courses or not, the objective is to unite programmers and get more people interested in programming.