Yokota students participate in nationwide campaign
Yokota Air Base — Nearly 300 students attending Yokota Middle School took part in the nationwide Hour of Code event Dec. 14.
Whether it was designing new levels for games like Super Mario Bros., creating characters for Minecraft, or building a Star Wars adventure, students eagerly worked on school computers or the personal electronic devices they were allowed to bring on campus for the day.
The Hour of Code is an event that teaches students about coding.
Students are given one hour to play educational games that help provide a better explanation on how to code, said Cheryl Johnson, Yokota Middle’s educational technologist.
Johnson said it’s important to learn coding because it can help prepare students for future employment, which increasingly requires knowledge of computers.
“Hour of Code is cool to me because we get to learn how to program, and we don’t usually learn that at school,” said Richard Stowe, an 8th grade student at YMS said.
Stowe has participated in the Hour of Code once before, and said he likes to learn coding because it will help him in the future.
Through its web site, the Hour of Code offers lessons in computer coding for every age group. These lessons are accessible through many devices, from tablets to desktops. The lessons teach the basics of computer coding, are highly interactive and do not require fast broadband connections.
“It’s good to see the kids, who don’t usually code, have an opportunity to try it and to even get competitive about it,” said Christy Brooks, Yokota Middle School’s S.T.E.M. teacher.
Programs such as Box Island, Code, Lightbot, and Tynker, help students build awareness of what it means to code.
“It’s cool to learn about coding,” said seventh grader and Yokota Middle School Student Council Vice President Veronika Brown. “We don’t learn about it often, but getting this chance to learn a little bit can help us in the future.”