Southern Columbia’s Kids Coding Camp exposed rising second through sixth grade students to the logical problem-solving and decision-making approach that the coding process fosters- all while having fun! The camp, made possible through a $35,000 PAsmart Targeted Grant and was co-sponsored by the Southern Columbia Community Foundation. According to Superintendent Paul R. Caputo, the camp was a first-step in an initiative to introduce coding into the K-8 Computer Science curriculum as a means of increasing rigor and introducing new skills into these courses. The project also seeks to introduce coding within the general education curriculum, seamlessly interweaving it into classroom instruction.
Coding experiences have the potential to help students develop creativity skills and become creators of content, not just consumers. According to a 2016 report from the World Economic Forum, by 2020 creativity will be the third most important workplace skill desired by companies, closely following problem solving and critical thinking. In last school year’s Project Tomorrow Speak Up survey, the majority of school leaders and parents across the nation reported agreeing that coding is a good way for students to develop creativity skills. Students agree as well–with 55% of Southern Columbia’s students in grades 6-8 (58% nationally) saying the most important reason to incorporate coding within the school day is to help them develop creativity skills.