West Branch students design apps, learn coding with new curriculum

Local News

At West Branch Middle School, students are designing phone apps as part of a class project. They’re also learning how to code for websites. It’s a new course being offered.

“It is definitely not above their understanding or ability level,” said Lori Schlueter, the computer applications teacher.

Schlueter is teaching a class that gives sixth, seventh and eighth graders useful computer skills.

“They get to create their own personal website from scratch using coding, and they’re using the HTML language and the CSS language,” she said.

One project the students are working on right now is designing an app. Students could pick from several ideas.

Lennon Went and Mahayleah Elkins chose bullying and how to stop it.

Elkins, who’s in seventh grade, said she’s been bullied in the past.

“We just decided to do an app about it and how…it would process and get the evidence of bullying.”

They said the app would scan your phone every day.

“If you were being bullied or you were bullying someone, it would take a screenshot of where they saw it and it would send an email to your parents,” said Went, who’s in sixth grade.

Schlueter said projects like this one keep the students engaged in what they’re learning.

“As a teacher, that’s what we look for, is engagement. So I think it’s very successful.”

Other things they will learn include video game graphics and animations.

“It’s really fun to do because you just get to create whatever you want,” Went said.

Any school, teacher and student can access the entire curriculum online.

“It’s a free curriculum and it’s very well developed,” Schlueter said.

This class is part of a computer science curriculum that started this year at West Branch Middle School.

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