The Bais Yaakov Academy of Queens’ eighth graders were introduced to the basics of computer coding when they began learning programming language, an educational language based on Java. Initially, students were skeptical of their abilities to write meaningful code, but by the end of the first lesson, most of them had picked up enough of the computer language and syntax to produce color and shapes.
The girls learned how computers recognize commands exactly as written, in the order it is written. They incorporated variables and loops into their program to allow shapes to move across the screen. The beauty of the coding unit is that it allows students to progress at their own rates. By the end of the unit, all students were able to complete their own unique design. Many advanced further, programming the mouse, allowing it to control movements on the screen. This enabled the girls’ abilities to code their own moving spider webs, as well as a simple Pac Man game, complete with score keeper!