Computer science, once a subject studied by few, has grown in prominence over the past years. In fact, according to the US News and World Report, software developer, a career path typical of computer science majors, ranks number two on their list of The 100 Best Jobs of 2021. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that this job will maintain its place at the top of the list, as it estimates that the job outlook of software developers will increase by 22% from 2019 to 2029. Aside from opening up excellent career prospects, computer science gives those who study it unique problem-solving skills that can be applied to all walks of life, meaning it’s beneficial for anyone to experiment with the subject, even if they have no intention of pursuing it further. 

With hundreds of programming languages, most seeming very cryptic, computer science can appear very daunting. As a result, many steer away from the subject, an event our organization, Coding Cougars, hopes to combat. Based in Chatham, NJ, Coding Cougars is an entirely student-run organization hoping to increase the number of students receiving a computer science education. Our staff has been fortunate to develop programming skills through the strong computer science curriculum at our school. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have these same opportunities, and even in more fortunate communities, students are often not exposed to computer programming until the high school level. As computer programming becomes a skill more and more important to learn as a young student, it’s unfortunate that many are not exposed to it until later in life or worse, not at all. In light of this, we hope to provide all students with a way to learn these skills, regardless of what community they come from. 

To achieve our goal, we will be offering free online courses teaching various programming languages on Saturdays and Sundays starting on March 6th and continuing until April 18th. We will offer courses teaching Scratch, Python, Java, App Inventor, and video editing. Each session is two hours long, and there are a total of two sessions per course. In addition to our course offerings, we plan on hosting a summer camp during the summer of 2021, as well as Hackathons for our students. Please visit our website for more information! 

Course Dates and times:

Introduction to Scratch

Saturday, March 6th, 2021: 10 am -12 pm

Sunday, March 7th, 2021: 10 am - 12 pm

Advanced Scratch

Saturday, March 13th, 2021: 10 am -12 pm

Sunday, March 14th, 2021: 10 am - 12 pm

Introduction to Python

Saturday, March 27th, 2021: 10 am -12 pm

Sunday, March 28th, 2021: 10 am - 12 pm

Advanced Python

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021: 10 am -12 pm

Sunday, April 4th, 2021: 10 am - 12 pm

Introduction to Java

Saturday, March 20th, 2021: 10 am -12 pm

Sunday, March 21st, 2021: 10 am - 12 pm

Android App Development

Saturday, April 17th, 2021: 10 am -12 pm

Sunday, April 18th, 2021: 10 am - 12 pm

Video Editing

Saturday, April 10th, 2021: 10 am -12 pm

Sunday, April 11th, 2021: 10 am - 12 pm