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Allegan Students Find Passion for Coding and Creating

male student with toy swordL.E. White Middle School Computer Science students are having fun using the coding skills they learned in a previous class to build games, interactive toys, and musical instruments.

“I wanted to take the basic coding that they learned and try to apply it to something a little more ‘real life,’” Computer Science teacher Louis Williams said. The students have been using a variety of materials such as cardboard, electrical wires, copper tape, and circuit boards to build their creations. “The students got a chance to choose whatever they wanted project-wise,” Ms. Williams said. “They just ran with it.”

Ms. Williams described the project as a learning experience for herself and her students. They became familiar with Adafruit Playground Express circuit boards by experimenting with them and watching tutorials that showed how the devices would react to sound, touch, and temperature changes. “There was a lot of problem solving, and a lot of the time we had to do (the experiments) together,” Ms. Williams said.

Soon enough, students were demonstrating how to make the circuit board light up and make sounds. “It’s that feeling,” Ms. Williams said, “you can see it in their face, ‘oh, it works! I figured it out!’”

As the program grows, Ms. Williams wants her students to work on more in-depth projects and have her current students serve as mentors for her incoming class.

But perhaps most importantly, Ms. Williams simply wants her students to recognize that Computer Science is fun. “I want them to come in, have fun, and try it out,” she said. “I want them to try and create something.”

Pictured: Eighth grader Breeze Keaton tests a sword that makes sound effects.

Author: Rob Patin, Allegan Public Schools