Northwood’s Tech Club hosted free programming classes at Microsoft stores for students of ages 8-12 starting in November.
These classes were offered through NHS Tech Club’s “6 Games in 6 Days” initiative. Two sessions of 20 kids each met weekly at classes held at the Microsoft stores at South Coast Plaza and the Shops at Mission Viejo to learn the basics of computer science through Scratch, an introductory programming language which uses an interactive drag and drop interface to simplify code into blocks.
“Computer science is an important subject that should be available for younger kids,” Northwood Tech Club President junior Pranati Kuppa said. “Scratch is a fun way for the kids to learn programming. By teaching the students various concepts, we hope to prepare them to design their own unique game.”
Students created a new game every class, learning concepts such as loops and variables along the way. The games varied from the classic Pong arcade game to Flappy Bird.
Several Northwood students volunteered to help out at each class. Senior Anita Shen and juniors Pranati Kuppa and Maggie Yang wrote the curriculum and rotated through teaching the classes.
“Programming in Scratch motivates students to dive into a world beyond textbooks, a world where the only limitation is their creativity,” Shen said.
Planning for the initiative began in August when Kuppa met with the NR Computer Learning Center (NRCLC) and Egyptian Chamber of Commerce (EACHAM) to discuss a partnership and decide on a venue for the classes.
By the end of the course, students will apply the skills they have learned from all the previous games in a friendly competition in January.