Math Courses Join Coding Initiative

Katie Erickson, Staff Writer

Each math course on campus is participating in the nationwide initiative called the Hour of Code. During Computer Science Education week from December 9 to 15, each class will spend one period learning how to write code for computer software and will watch videos about coding by code.org.

The math teachers will supervise, but the students will be doing the work independently during class. “It is pretty self-directed. Students should be able to walk their way through it by themselves,” said computer programming teacher Carol Paymer.

According to sophomore Sarah Santaguida, computer coding is comprised of applying a specific code to get a corresponding result. “Mrs. Paymer will tell us to make a circle that is a certain size and then tell us to move it diagonally across a page. We have to use the program and codes she taught us to make it happen,” said Santaguida.

“For some people, that is not what they think of when they think of programming, but it is. That is part of the reason why I want to do this. When people think of programming, they think of people typing away at their keyboard in a dark room, but it isn’t like this anymore,” said Paymer.

The program will be downloaded onto 2 iPad carts which will travel to each of the classrooms. It is an application that costs $2.99 and can also be accessed at home.

“All this graphic stuff is modern day programming. A lot of the graphing they do for iPads is the graphically faced interface that the students will be using,” said Paymer.

According to Santaguida, an everyday class in computer programming consists of learning new codes, practicing them and then applying them. “We use a lot of different software. The programming is like games because Mrs. Paymer gives us something to and we have to program it,” said Santaguida.

Paymer hopes that it will gain popularity in the computer programing classes. “I’m really excited because it will give everybody a chance to code and figure out that it isn’t what they think it is. I’m hoping they will see that it is not as scary as they think it is,” said Paymer.

“I think it will help a lot because, right now, people think computer programming isn’t that fun and is hard work. Once she gets the word around that it is really fun and interesting, it will become more popular,” said Santaguida.

According to Paymer, computer programming is a rewarding class, and good preparation for college.”I think that everybody, especially anyone who is going into college in math and sciences, are really at a disadvantage if they get to college and haven’t done any programming at all. Having at least a short introduction to programming is a real benefit,” said  Paymer.

“It is where the power is in the world these days and programmers kind of run the world. People who aren’t tuned into that are holding themselves back. It is just to stay everyone an do this because it isn’t hard or scary or weird,” said Paymer.

“I definitely encourage others to join the class. I learned a lot,” said Santaguida.