Skip Navigation

Ask a Cool Coder

By Jen Perry 2 sessions (45 minutes each)
For Everyone
English Language Arts,
Science and Technology,
  • Programming
  • Technology and Society
Tools & Languages


Computational Thinking

A thought process involved in formulating a problem and expressing its solution(s) in such a way that a computer can carry out

In the first of this two-part lesson, learners will explore what a coder does and start to think of questions they may have for a coder. During the second part of the lesson, a coder will come in and present information about their educational experience, their job, and answer questions learners may have.


  • Some prior experience with coding would be beneficial for learners.

Before the lesson…

  • Book a local volunteer coder in your community ahead of time. Check out’s database of volunteers. Enter your address to find a local volunteer. If there aren't any local volunteers available, search for volunteers in other cities who can participate remotely through a video conference.

This lesson could be linked to asking powerful questions. Review Learn Alberta’s ‘Asking Powerful Questions’ Document.

Part 1

Play ‘Why Your Kids Must Learn to Code’ video.

Independently in a journal, in small groups, or as a whole class, have learners come up with questions that have about coding that they would like to ask a coder (see Learn Alberta ‘Asking Powerful Questions’ resource for additional information on asking questions).

If learners need prompting to help develop questions, write these statements on the board and then have learners think of questions they may have.

  1. Coding is a language.
  2. Coding is a superpower.
  3. Schools should teach coding.
  4. There are many jobs in coding.
  5. Coding can make the world a better place.

If you would like learners to focus some questions more directly on coding concepts, share the following example questions:

  1. Can you share a debugging tip?
  2. How do you use [coding concept] in your work?

Part 2: Guest Speaker, Coder Presentation

Learners will ask questions they may have. If time permits, with the coder helping supervise, learners can explore, activities, or Canada Learning Code activities. Learners could also share their own previous coding projects with the coder guest speaker.

(Formative assessment): After coder presentation, learners can journal about what they learned and write down further questions they may have.

Learn Alberta’s ‘Asking Powerful Questions’ Document contains a learner self-assessment and teacher rubric for asking powerful questions.


Learners can freely explore or


  • Journal extension - What was something you learned/found interesting in the ‘Cool Coder’ presentation? What skills do you think are necessary to become a coder?
  • Research amazing coding jobs or famous coders, such as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.


During the presentation, ask the “Cool Coder” guest presenter what math skills are essential to their job.

Technology & Society (History of Technology)

Identify key figures involved in shaping the history of Computer Science, focusing on the role of Canadians, women, and groups underrepresented in the tech sector.

Teach lessons that are tied to your existing curriculum!


More Lesson Plans For For Everyone

    View All Lesson Plans

    Explore lessons based on components

    The K-12 Computer Science Framework

    Although learning how to build digital projects is a key part of Computer Science education, students should also learn a wider set of skills and competencies that will help them to harness the power of digital technologies as both creators and consumers. A comprehensive approach to K-12 Computer Science education includes learning about the following five focus areas:

    View Framework ➝


    By the end of high school, students should be able to create a simple computer program.

    Computing and Networks

    By the end of high school, students should understand and be able to use the tools and devices commonly used to build digital projects.


    By the end of high school, students should be able to explain how we use computers to create, store, organize, and analyze data.

    Technology and Society

    By the end of high school, students should be able to explore the ways in which technology and society have mutually shaped each other.


    By the end of high school, students should be able to apply design principles to the digital projects they create.