Springfield students will learn how to talk to computers in new course

Rene Stratton, program coordinator at the Career Connect Ed Center, talks about the micro robots that the students will be controlling in the hour of code at The Dome. These events aim to get kids interested in coding and computer science. Bill Lackey/Staff
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Rene Stratton, program coordinator at the Career Connect Ed Center, talks about the micro robots that the students will be controlling in the hour of code at The Dome. These events aim to get kids interested in coding and computer science. Bill Lackey/Staff

Springfield students will once again be taking time in December to learn about computer coding and computer science.

The Hour of Code is the theme for the December Maker Space after-school program in the dome. It will encourage students to get hands-on with computer coding and learn the importance computer science has for many different professions. Classes begin Tuesday, Dec. 5.

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“Maker Space is a program in the Career Connected Center for students from fourth through eighth grade on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” Career Connect ED program coordinator Rene Stratton said. “We have different themes, and it teaches different concepts in the STEM field.”

Last year, students learned about computer programs, how to operate a 3D printer and program robots. This month, students will learn about computation communication and how computers understand what they are being told to do.

Understanding the basics of how computers work can give students advantage, Stratton said.

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“You need it in all aspects of life, whatever your job is,” she said.

Out of 80 spots, 76 have already been accounted for. While students that haven’t already signed up might not get a chance to participate in the after-school program, Spokeswoman Kim Fish said there will be other opportunities.

“We also are offering field trips for students in the Springfield City School District once their teachers do this with them in the classroom,” she said.

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The Maker Space program is continuing to grow, Fish said, and students who get closed out of this month’s classes will be first to get into next month’s classes, which will cover electronics. For more information, go to the Career ConnectED’s website, getcareerconnected.org.

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