I took my first computer science class in grade 10 and it has changed my life. Initially, I thought I was going to drop the class because someone had mentioned it was going to be very math heavy. To my surprise, it was the complete opposite. When we started working on our first project, I had the freedom to create anything I wanted. It was so magical to think I could make something out of nothing. When I tell my friends I like computer science, they think it’s an area that is very technical, boring, and difficult. I see coding as a space where creative potential is so vast and I hope I can work towards getting other people to see it that way as well. I find that computer science can be encompassing of all areas. In many game development projects, you need artists, animators, writers, researchers, musicians, and programmers. For me, it was a perfect blend of using logical and creative thinking. It’s so important that we teach coding and highlight this creative perspective to showcase a space for the innovative makers of tomorrow. However, that is not the only reason why it’s important to teach computer science. My entire generator has grown up with technology. Essentially, technology has become our world. I believe everyone should have some basic understanding of computer science because it’s the foundation of how our world works.
Who wouldn’t want to know how the world works? That’s why I decided to approach my computer science teacher about Canada Learning Code Week. I am so thankful to have such a supportive teacher like Ms. Adamson. She also talks to our class about important issues like the lack of women in tech/STEM field and why diversity in workplaces is so important. I hope talking about these important issues happens in every classroom because the first step to solving a problem is to identify and talk about it. With the support of Ms. Adamson, I started a coding club at my school with my friends Jaden and Jordon. At our club, we wanted to bring people that are interested in coding together to create cool projects. We run workshops on game and web development, teaching members how to code with HTML and CSS.
Our most recent project was organizing and running an in-school hackathon called “Code for Climate”. Participants spent the whole day building a program related to our theme of “The Effects of Climate Change on Communities and The Environment” in teams of 2-4. My team and I wanted to showcase technology’s role in climate action and how you can code for social change. A team of 3 girls won the “Most Educational” category for their impressive Alexa Skill/Google Action project, built on Voiceflow, where you could ask about recycling and get instant feedback. This was their first time coding. Hackathons are especially impactful for beginners because it is a fun and easy way to start learning to code. Our “Code for Climate” hackathon inspired more students to continue to learn how to code.
Guest blog post by Charelle, a Canada Learning Code Teen Ambassador. Charelle is a junior in high school that is actively involved in bringing tech opportunities to students in Winnipeg, Manitoba in hopes of pursuing a career in STEM.
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