Carver students learn ins and outs of coding

Photo by Tevin Stinson- Last week N.C. Sen. Paul Lowe Jr. and Rep. Ed Hanes Jr. introduced a new computer coding elective to students at Carver High School.

Carver students learn ins and outs of coding
June 01
05:00 2017

N.C. lawmakers launch computer-related elective

In an attempt to get more students to pursue careers in computer science, N.C. Sen. Paul Lowe Jr. and Rep. Ed Hanes Jr. launched a new hands-on initiative at Carver High School last week that teaches students computer coding.

Currently there are nearly 18,000 open computing jobs in North Carolina. By 2018 over half of all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs are projected to be in computer science-related jobs, with a starting salary of about $45,000 and national average of $104,000.

“Many of the jobs in the future will deal with what’s called computer coding. This is an exciting time for these students because they can learn this stuff and earn a lot of money,” said Lowe during the hands-on presentation at Carver.

Coding is a set of rules that define how a program should be formatted. Thousands of different rules make it possible for us to use computer software, and the apps that keep us glued to our phones and other mobile devices.

At a place in time where cell phone apps are used to do everything from chatting with close friends, to ordering groceries and everything in between, computer coding has become a part of everyday life.

During the coding session led by computer programmers from Washington, D.C., students were introduced to the wide world of coding through an iPad app called Swift Playground. The app uses lessons to teach the core concepts of coding. In less than 30 minutes, several students had already passed Level One on the app.

Lowe, who introduced legislation to offer courses in computer programming and coding as elective courses for middle and high school students, said when he was looking for a place to debut the computer coding elective, he knew Carver would be the perfect place for it. 

“They’re already using this stuff, so why not give them the tools so they can begin to take it to a new level,” he said. “Computer coding is not the language of the future. It is the language of today. This is a way to begin to move our children forward.”

Hanes, a graduate of Carver, said he was excited to kick off the course at his alma mater. He said it’s time the state provides more resources for schools in urban environments.

“Our goal is to make sure these electives show up at our most needy schools first. We’re looking at this as an opportunity to really get us moving,” said Hanes. “This is just a toe in the water. We’re going to make sure this shows up in several schools across the city, and across the state.”

Several teachers and administrators said they are excited to see the course begin with their students. Assistant Principal Barbara Burke said, “This is a great opportunity for our students and a great opportunity for our future. I’m excited to see where this takes us.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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