Turing students inspire the next generation of coders

As a former 4th grade teacher, I try to find ways to get back into schools every chance I get. There is just something about the energy in a school and seeing learning at its earliest form that is so exciting. 45% of our current Turing Staff have teaching experience, and we have over 20 current students who were teachers. So when the opportunity came up for us to work with students at STEM Launch K-8 in Adams 12, I knew our team would jump at the chance. Deb Harding and I spent a few weeks coordinating the visit with her 7th grade classes to see if we could help support the students with their first coding experiences.

Over our intermission week, we took a group of 15 students to spend the afternoon with 7th grade students who are starting to learn how to code. Turing students had the opportunity to break into small groups with the 7th graders and share their backgrounds and journeys to becoming a software developer. The 7th graders were quiet at first, but once our Turing students showed them some code, the questions started flowing. They asked about how things were working and what was the most challenging issue our students faced. Then the 7th graders had a chance to show us the code they were working on to create their websites on famous historical figures. Turing students jumped right in to learn the new language and help troubleshoot issues they were having.

It was amazing to see the connection between people who knew nothing of each other just 30 minutes before the conversations started. Our students left the visit hoping the 7th graders enjoyed their time, and wondering if they learned anything. A day later, we got a feedback survey from the 7th graders and knew that the visit was worth it. In the way that only 7th graders can, they captured the essence of the trip.

Explain what you liked best about meeting the students from Turing?

  • “They were lit but still very professional.”
  • “It was so fun and exciting because I got to see what other people are learning, and it was scary because I thought they were going to be mean.”

Describe something you learned from the Turing students about making apps.

  • “You can use coding to make anything from a game to an app that shows you which college you would be able to apply for.”
  • “It’s really hard 😱”
  • “The java scripts.”
  • “I learned that anyone can learn coding in software engineering its just a matter of doing it.”

We hope that we can continue to coordinate more school visits and bring the love of coding to more students in our K-12 system. If you are interested in coordinating something, please reach out to me at ellenmary@turing.io.