Coding gaining popularity with Lafayette students

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – It’s not a class, but some students consider coding, or the process of writing a computer program, a foreign language. At Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School dozens of students are interested in learning to code.

Central Catholic junior Jeff Todd has been learning to code for four years.

“I have been able to make a calculator that you see on a computer,” Todd said.

Todd is one of 60 Central Catholic students who responded to a coding club call-out earlier this month. Lafayette Catholic School System Director of Technology and eLearning Joe Willmann said he was expecting 10 or 15 kids to be interested.

“I think it’s exciting to be able to write your own application,” Willmann said. “There have been somewhere in the range of 75,000 jobs created since 2010 just in programming and coding alone, so we let them know that.”

“I used to take stuff apart as a kid,” Central Catholic junior Alex Lodde said. “I am always wondering what websites are made of to see how they work and how they are built.”

The students in the coding club are using codeschool.com to learn four different coding languages. Willmann said Central Catholic is the first school in the country to team with the website.

“You actually go through the program, you learn and then you do at the same time,” Willmann said. “It’s interactive through the program.”

“I like it,” Lodde said. “It teaches you pretty much. It teaches you then you get to do it while it is still fresh in your memory.”

School administrators said the coding club is part of the STREAM initiative. It puts more focus on science, technology and engineering programs along with the religion and art programs already in place.

“I’m learning problem solving skills,” Todd said. “I am able to piece everything together like a puzzle.”

Right now coding club is an extra curricular activity, but Willmann said hopefully in the future it can become a class.

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