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Discovery delves into code for Computer Science Education Week

MADISON – The confusing ‘magic’ of computer programming translated to real-world understanding for students at Discovery Middle School during Computer Science Education Week.

Discovery students participated in the observance on Dec. 4-8. Computer Science Education Week is an annual worldwide program that the Code.org website sponsors.

“The week is dedicated to encouraging K-12 students to engage with coding and computer science. Computer Science Education Week allows students and educators to partake in ‘Hour of Code,’ an online introduction to computer science that aims to demystify code and teach its basic principles,” Laura Collins said.

Collins teaches computer science and digital communications at Discovery, along with sponsoring Kindness Society and CyberPatriots.

“The sponsors of the event assert that every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science,” Collins said. “Research suggests that computer science education helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity in students. By starting early, young people will have a foundation for success in the 21st-century career path of their choice.”

In related pursuits, Discovery already is active in teaching computer science with its numerous Project Lead the Way or PLTW courses. Students can enroll in these classes as electives.

Popular computer science classes at Discovery include “Computer Science for Innovators and Makers,” which allows students to learn in a hands-on approach. “The students learn about creating algorithms, basic block programming, along with programming a Micro:bit device to conduct various tasks,” Collins said.

Another popular computer science course is “App Creators,” which is a class that introduces students to the basics of app creation and coding. “Through these classes, students attain algorithmic thinking skills, problem-solving skills and knowledge that they can apply to multiple disciplines and real life,” Collins said.

During Computer Science Education Week, Discovery students coded a Minecraft game, Scratch animation and Code Combat activity. “While they learned about computer science, they also discovered how much fun coding can be,” Collins said. “At Discovery, learning is an adventure.”

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