Iowa City Schools, Volunteers Push Computer Science

By Mark Carlson, Iowa City Bureau Chief

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa City community schools and local volunteers are working to push computer science. Teachers at Iowa City High School say they’ve seen computer science electives triple in size in recent years.

“These kids want to learn and they’re excited to learn,” said Vicky Pedersen, an Iowa City High School teacher, who teaches an elective class that involves computer coding.

Teachers say computer science is an extremely important field in modern times. In other countries computer science classes are becoming mandatory at younger and younger ages.

“Coding is something that’s going to be in all of these kids future,” said Danelle Knoche, a City High math teacher. “Even for younger kids, it’s important for them to learn at a younger age.”

Children as young as seven can learn the basics of coding, said Troy Reilly, a University of Iowa graduate student. Reilly volunteers to help teach coding at the public library once a month through a free program called CoderDojo.

“It’s a lot like languages, we are teaching sentence structure to these guys, from there they can start learning any language they want,” said Hans Hoerschelman, a UI employee and volunteer.

The group meets this Saturday at the Iowa City public library at 2 p.m.

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