Computer programming classes teach students how to code, create mobile apps

Schools across district to take part in ‘Hour of Code’ Dec. 8-14

At HISD’s Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan (BCMA), proficiency in computer science is not just encouraged, but expected. The school offers a computer programming course on building web applications as part of the curriculum and as an elective.

“Our goal is to offer this course to every student between grades six through eight,” said BCMA Principal Jyoti Malhan. “A coding class is critical for my students, and the most important reason I offered it is the need for our kids to learn coding and programming to be better prepared for the workforce.”

HISD is preparing students for future careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by providing students more access to unique, hands-on learning opportunities in STEM and by bringing coding to more schools across the district.

BCMA, along with other campuses across HISD, will participate in a districtwide coding challenge for the Hour of Code as part of Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 8-14) across the country. The school is one 10 HISD campuses that received a $5,000 grant from technology supplier Schlumberger to fund a coding program.

The grant has made it possible for computer science teacher Adrianne Miller to develop a mobile apps club at BCMA, teach her students lessons on variables in Javascript, and to teach computer programming principles using HTML and CSS. She also plans to begin teaching her classes Ruby on Rails, a popular coding language and framework that developers used when coding the first version of Twitter.

“Even though they are young, they are old enough to learn anything that adults can learn,” Miller said. “I want the students to be able to create simple web applications using coding languages that are used every day by real web developers.”

Computer Science Career Facts

  • Employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that IT will be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy, adding nearly 1.4 million job openings by 2020.
  • Over two-thirds of these jobs could go unfilled due to the insufficient pool of college graduates with computing-related degrees. Women represent a vastly untapped talent pool.

Info obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics and The National Center for Women and Information Technology.

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