A middle school coding class is opening career opportunities to students who are now considering computer science as a career.
At Hobart Middle School, Crystal Kistler is teacher her seventh graders to think like computer scientists. The science teacher is teaching the “Computer Science for Innovators and Makers” class this fall, implementing state standards that require students in middle school to know how to program computers or write code. The course is part of Project Lead The Way’s middle school program.
“Career exploration at the middle level empowers students to be engaged at school,” said Hobart schools Superintendent Peggy Buffington. In Northwest Indiana, schools offer computer coding to children starting in elementary school. “We offer a variety of career pathways and cluster electives for students to participate in at HMS. These pathways allow students to experiment with the possibility of pursuing this type of career choice in high school and additionally, they can take early college classes at Hobart High.
“From robotics to apps to innovators and makers to medical detectives, these are a few samples of career pathway exploration electives at the middle school to help spark students’ interests while engaging them in their course standards to achieve higher,” said Buffington. “Students really like the classes and see a link to real world applications.”