Students learn and teach Computer Programming

Tara Wood, Staff Writer

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Computer students from Manhattan High shared their knowledge of programming and code at local elementary schools Amanda Arnold and Woodrow Wilson last week. The students took an active part in teaching the information they have learned in Kathy Ricketts’ Computer Applications, Animation and Web Design and Gaming classes. Ricketts has focused on introducing new things to the students while showing them just how many career options they have when they know how to program and use technology.

“I wanted to do the computer science in the elementary schools was because just to get the students excited about computer science programming let them be creative with the little Kibo robots and the drones,” Ricketts said. “It’s hands-on, something different than their ordinary day that they do. This is just kind of trying to promote computer science in our school district.”

According to students who did the presentations, they wanted the kids to see that it’s not as boring as it may seem. The elementary school students got to play with little robots and blocks that they could use together. The robots were able to scan code sequences which were commands given on the blocks telling the robot to shake, go forward, stop and other things.

“I would say seeing the kids mess around with it is more enjoyable than actually trying to figure it out myself,” senior Kai MacFarlane said. “Kids have a way of showing interest enjoyment of little tiny things where I feel like we’ve lost it over the years.”

The week before their trips to the elementary schools Ricketts took her class to K-State so they could have their own hands-on learning experience about what they can do when it comes to computer programming. According to senior Avery Groover, they toured four facilities at the university: CivicPlus, K-State’s biohazard area, Purple Wave, and the computer science department.

CivicPlus showed the students around their whole building and showed them the work that typically happens. CivicPlus also gave them a deeper explanation of what types of careers they could go into. K-State’s biohazard showed the students their lab, what precautions they take for safety and what tech they use.  The class went to Purple Wave and learned about how they auction vehicles and what kind of websites they use that work best for their company. Finally they went to K-State’s computer science department to learn all about the clubs they can join to learn, what you can get out of that knowledge and toured their hardware area.


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