Coding camp teaches Sage Valley Middle School students basics of programming

Posted at 5:15 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 19:15:31-04

School may be out for the summer, but a group of Vallivue students are back in the classroom this week, learning how to code. It's all part of an initiative spearheaded by the University of Idaho's Boise campus, to spark student interest in science and technology. 

"It's four days of coding and interacting with technology in a way that a lot of these kids haven't before," said Julie Rice, a 7th grade teacher at Sage Valley Middle School. 

It's not your typical summer scene -- 24 middle school-aged students in a computer lab -- learning the basics of programming and coding.

"I like meeting new people and I also like just being able to make my own thing and be creative," said Jamar Gowen, a camp participant and soon-to-be 9th grader. 

Gowen, along with the other kids enrolled in the camp, are getting hands-on instruction, and programming video games -- all on their own. 

"Yeah, I'm getting the hang of it," Gowen said. "It's more you have to memorize a bunch of things."

Exposure to programming and coding is ultimately the goal of this camp, organized by the University of Idaho's Boise Campus. 

But it's not just students -- Sage Valley Middle School teachers are learning at the camp, too. They're hoping to bring these lessons into their classrooms this fall. 

"We're getting more and more opportunities for technology in our school," Rice said. "But to have something like this outside of school, it just acts as a springboard for them in ways they never would've seen."

On Friday, July 14, which is the last day of the camp, the participating students will play laser tag with laser guns they programmed themselves.