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Urbandale School Teaches Students to Code Before Some Learn to Type

URBANDALE, Iowa – Karen Acres Elementary School and Urbandale High School and teaming up to teach elementary students how to code.

High school students in a computer science class learn different skills each week about coding. Urbandale High School student Briar Conery said the students then create lessons to teach to the elementary school children.

“Most of them came into it completely blind, and now they are making their own game where they don’t really ask for help anymore. So, it’s really cool to see how much they have grown.”

Twenty-five second through fifth grade students are in the coding club. Students begin to take typing classes in third grade, but Principal Lara Justmann said opening up the club to second grade students lets them use their creativity.

“About half of our kids are already familiar with coding, and we wanted to open that up to even more students as a productive way of using technology versus just playing video games,” Justmann said.

Second grade students Alexandra Moter said, “I like to learn of coding, about being able to make our own stuff.”

Justmann said coding helps the students learn how to problem solve.

“They figure out those problems and how to work through things on their own and with each other. There is a lot of peer collaboration that is really neat to see,” Justmann said.

Fourth Grade student Cameron Jenkins said he likes coding, because it challenges him and he can use his imagination.

“I am just trying to figure out how I can make these two show, but this one right here will stay there. I’m just trying to figure out what to do,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said he is excited to see what else he can learn in coding next school year, and would take classes if offer the opportunity.