Ranch View Middle School CODE Club sets high tech goals
HIGHLANDS RANCH – For the average person, technical jargon like "end code" and "Java script" are very unfamiliar terms. But for a group of students in Ranch View Middles School’s CODE Club, it is all part of their daily language.
“You get to learn a lot of new and very powerful skills in the world of computer science. Some of those include basic PHP and Java script others include very complicated Ruby and Python programming languages,” says 8th grade CODE Club member Konstantin Zaremski.
“We’ve been doing databases so that we can store info for a directory so that you can look up school staff,” added 8th grade CODE writer Daniel Petito.
For this group of ‘Digital Natives’, the opportunity to excel in a 21st century learning environment is not only educational but fun as well. CODE Club sponsor and RVMS math teacher Tiffiny Vaughn confirms the benefits of the club are essential to their growth and success.
“I think the long term benefits of joining a code club when you’re in middle school is that you’re building a strong foundation of computer science so when you get to the high school level they can launch into AP computer science course work and possibly go to college with computer science credits,” says Vaughn.
With the confidence and knowledge well beyond their age, the CODE Club has entered the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. It is a national competition open to all middle and school students and clubs. Last year a group of students from Rock Canyon High School were recognized as Best in State winners for their ‘Caring Hands’ application that matched users with charity organizations.
Petito confidently states, “We’re writing code to do a grade predictor. So when you enter your scores and how much they weigh, you hit go, and it will tell you what your grade is and what you need to do to achieve a 4.”
“It really takes kids to the highest level of creativity…they have to think on a creative level, they have to release their artistic expression,” concludes Vaughn.
It is estimated that in the next 10 to 15 years there will be 1.4 million computer science jobs to fill, with less than one half million people to fill them. With this in mind, it is inspiring the students of the RVMS CODE Club, even at this early stage, to set their sights short terms goals like winning the App Challenge to setting up a career.
“I want to be a physicist and you can use code to write programs to show you how things are going to work in space,” projects Petito.
“I think that I’m bound to do this…I really want to do this when I’m all grown up and out of college this is definitely one of the career choices I would look into,” concluded Zaremski.