In an age where the use of technology seems to be constantly growing, knowing how to program a computer is an increasingly common expectation and popular interest for young people. This is especially true at SIS, where computers are a crucial element of school life; all students, from elementary students to seniors in high school, are expected to utilize computers as learning tools. To reflect this growing technological trend both inside and outside of SIS, Elliot Nam (12) and Yoon Lee (12) have founded a new coding club to provide opportunities for students at SIS to learn and experience the rising core subject in Korea: coding.
“[Our goal] is to introduce coding to students at this school who do not get the chance to experience coding,” said Marc Montague, Coding Club adviser. “Other than the AP Computer Science class in high school and the coding class in middle school, there’s not much coding going on in school. You would take that grade seven class, and then take it the AP in grade 12. That is a huge gap, so our goal is to try and fill that gap.”
In addition to providing coding opportunities for students within SIS, the Coding Club also functions actively outside of school. According to Elliot Kim (11), secretary of the club, the club is divided into two sectors. The first sector focuses on attending coding competitions, whereas the second sector works for community service. More specifically, the latter provides opportunities for people in the local community who do not have the chance to own or use a computer. In the long run, the club is hoping to allow more people beyond the SIS community to experience coding.
“[In relation to] our community service section, we are planning on setting up these facilities called ‘smart libraries’ at different locations outside of school,” said Elliot. “Basically, these ‘smart libraries’ are places where multicultural families who can’t afford to get computer education can have free access to these computers. Our club members will video chat with these families and teach them how to do certain things on the computers.”
Despite being a new club, the Coding Club is hopeful about what it will accomplish in the future. Following the dominance of technology in the real world, the Coding Club hopes to expose students to the growing trend of computers and coding. Because students will grow up to work and live in an even more technology-centered society than today, the club hopes to provide a basis for more experience with computers.
“We hope that this club can provide students opportunities to apply existing computer science knowledge or to learn new aspects of computer science they did not yet know,” said Yoon Lee (12), co-founder of the club. “Ultimately, we hope to change the idea that computer science is an optional skill, given the increasing need for this skillset in the workplace and beyond. We are aiming to address the necessity of computer science education in SIS and beyond.”