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Saturday, February 18, 2017

EPISD students visit Apple Store to learn coding | El Paso Inc


"Coding is not the first thing that comes to mind when visiting the mall, but for EPISD middle school students Cielo Vista Mall became an extension of their classroom for an hour." continues El Paso Inc.

Photo: Alicia Chumley

Bassett, Morehead, Armendariz, Charles and Henderson middle schools visited the Apple Store recently as part of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) grant and a push to introduce students to the fundamentals of coding.
 

“Coding is part of the larger STEM initiative that is happening all over the country to get kids interested in those areas that we are going to need students involved in,” said Timothy Holt, 
Executive Director of Blended Learning. “Some of these kids are already interested in coding, but others may have never tried it at all.”
 

Around 30 students from each school visited the store. Each group was slotted an hour to work with Apple trainers on coding using the Swift Playgrounds app on their iPads.
 

Using the app, which uses Swift programming language, students directed a character through a simple maze by creating code functions.
 

“The app works like a game. So they are learning actual coding language while playing the game,” Holt said. “This is a way of showing them they can be successful in coding. In the future there is going to be a need for more computer programmers not less.”
 

For eighth-grader Johana Lara coding is part of her family’s legacy. She started coding when she was around eight-years-old, thanks to her older brother who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and now works for the software developing company MathWorks.
 

“I’ve worked with JavaScript and HTML. I thought it was difficult at first, but when my brother started at MIT he told me I should start coding,” Lara said. “I was intimidated by it, but once you start, it will start becoming more familiar.”
 

Although she was hesitant at first, Lara now understands the value of learning code.
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Source: El Paso Inc


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