Computer Science for Middle Schoolers +

Computer Science for Middle Schoolers +


The class is actually called CS4MS or
Computer Science for Middle Schoolers and basically, it’s getting computational
thinking incorporated into the school system. Trying to find a way to make
computer science more accessible to, at first, middle schoolers but then we
branched into high school and we decided a good way to do that would be to
actually go into the classrooms and assist the teachers with their lessons.
It’s really important because computer science kind of is involved in a lot of
different things in life. Has a lot of opportunities for anyone that wants to
get involved whether it be just as a hobby, really just here, there, coding a
few things, to full-blown interest where they’re like, I want to make a career out
of this. Computers are everywhere and so no matter what job you get, you’ll be
expected to have some type of computer knowledge, whether that be with Excel,
Word, simple HTML, CSS, and so getting it out into the public school and
explaining to them what computer science is, that gives everyone the opportunity
to understand like, hey, this job could be for you too. It’s not just for one
specific genre of people. So that’s all the reason why it’s pretty important to get
introduced at a young age. We have these students that are really, really into
that idea of designing these products, making code, and seeing the bigger
picture of all of it coming together to come to fruition and this real like
thing that didn’t exist before they made it and those are the students that we
really help foster that because that’s only going to grow from there.
I think the most enjoyable part was probably seeing when someone was maybe
struggling or if they couldn’t get something. When they finally understood
it, most of them were pretty exciting and I really liked seeing that like aha
moment where they finally understood. Definitely made it enjoyable too. Every
time we came in, just seeing how ready they were to learn. My skills in
problem-solving have definitely been improved by this project. As a
computer science student, problem-solving is important because that’s basically
the basis. My communication skills. When you have a younger student that has a
problem, you would have to be able to explain it in a way that makes sense in
terms that they understand. My collaboration skills. My public speaking
skills. Getting lesson plans ready and even going back to the basics of
computer science and being able to explain it in a way that I don’t want to say
normal people but people with not as much experience as me can understand it.
You never really know if you know something until you can properly explain
and teach it to someone else. So, as I’m helping these kids and I’m helping- as
I’m teaching them key concepts and making sure they understand the
principles of computer science and computational thinking, I also need to
understand it myself and be able to present it in a format that’s easily
obtainable and digestible, like okay, I get this. It was a great opportunity to
actually get my first hands-on experience with a real classroom being
able to teach the students and a subject that I’m really passionate about. Being
able to see what they learned and how they’ve grown. I do think that this class
is essentially paving the way to help bring about a change in the way that
Muncie Schools teach computer science and will hopefully really foster the
growth of that and make it to where students go into these classes and they
come out with actual experience that they can apply to life and if not,
hopefully at least knowledge of that area.


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