Coding is in full blast at SOMS this year.
For the first time, coding is offered as an elective at SOMS, allowing 7th & 8th graders to design their own original media project. A mere month into the elective, a variety of animated characters, from girls and boys to bears and cats, are catching balls, scoring goals and releasing balloons into the sky.
Using Scratch, an MIT created and user friendly programming language, both beginners and more advanced students are developing videos and games at their own speed and ability.
This half-year elective is offered to 7th and 8th graders and is taught by Charles Minton, a new teacher to SOMS. The students are presented with daily tasks and challenges that culminate in the creation of a simple animation allowing their particular character, also known as a sprite, to accomplish a set of tasks.
Creative Computing and Design grew out of the popularity of the YouthNet after school coding class that is still being offered to all SOMS students, and the “Hour of Code” that the district held last year. “With information changing so rapidly, the skills our students will need are problem solving, decision making and creativity,” said Mr. U. “Coding not only teaches students those essential and life long skills, but also prepares them for what will undoubtedly be a part of the job market of the future.”
Next year, Mr. U is hoping to offer 8th graders who have completed the coding elective a new course with a more advanced language to build on the skills they have already acquired.