News

These students can code a video game–can yours?

By By Rachel Lerman, The Seattle Times
December 8th, 2015

Technologists say learning know how to code can teach students computer-savvy they’ll likely need in the workplace

code-gameA fire crackles in a small clearing inside a dark, dense forest. Large yellow eyes flash and a wolf stares back as mysterious footsteps approach from behind.

It’s not the opening to a horror film, but a virtual-reality game called “Hearing Through Darkness” in which players shoot lasers at attacking wolves. The game is being developed by four teenagers. Ethan Busse, Elliot Busse, Michael Lai and Nathan Boss, all students at Highline Big Picture School, are interns in a program at Foundry10 in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.

Foundry10 provides interns with resources and mentors to create pretty much anything they want, be it video games, underwater robots or even hip-hop dance performances. The organization studies how and what kids are learning, in part to help determine how students can learn technology concepts.

Dec. 7 marked the beginning of Computer Science Education Week, a global push supported by tech businesses, teachers and educational organizations to encourage kids to learn to code. The week is part of a growing call across the tech industry to apply more coding education in schools to equip kids for the technological world.

The week is organized by Code.org, a Seattle coding-education company that sponsors tutorials around the world. More than 100,000 teachers are expected to participate in this year’s , a short tutorial that teaches kids the basics of computer programming.

Technologists predict computers will be even more prevalent in the future than they are today. Machines will be involved in many, if not all, aspects of life.

Next page: Why coding, and why now?