Goshen students get Google grant to learn about computer science

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Goshen College junior Megan Gerke helps seventh grader Sam Smith and sixth grader Nayely Arellano with a coding challenge during a coding club meeting at Goshen Middle School. (Photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach)

Goshen Middle Schoolers are learning how to code with the help of Goshen College students and a grant from Google.

In April 2016, Goshen College’s Digital Eve group, led by Jeanette Shown, associate professor of computer science and information technology, and Meghan Gerke, a junior information technology major, received an $8,500 grant from Google’s IgniteCS program, an initiative that supports student groups committed to developing and delivering a computer science outreach program in their community.

Since October, student mentors from Goshen College have been holding a once-a-week coding club of about 30 students at Goshen Middle School, teaching computer science and programming “from hardware up to software,” Shown said.

A highlight of the club, according to Shown, is that nearly half of the middle school students participating in the program are girls.

“Middle school is the time when a lot of kids stop pursuing their interest in the scientific fields, especially girls,” Shown said. “We lose them in middle school, so we’re trying to recapture that interest.”

 

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