NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - One hour. A computer. A new language.
North Plainfield students recently had the opportunity to learn the language of computer coding during the ‘Hour of Code,’ a special one-hour introduction to computer science program.
North Plainfield High School computer science teacher Anthony Della Rosa introduced the ‘Hour of Code’ during the week of Dec. 7 and the program offered students and teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to learn coding, the process of writing the computer's language to perform a task. The ‘Hour of Code’ introduced the students to the many fields of technology such as engineering, networking and IT (Information Technology) management.
Throughout the week, Della Rosa visited different classrooms and, in some cases, teachers brought their students to him. As part of the program, Della Rosa’s friend Fabrice Fonkck, a former Microsoft manager programmer who worked for the company for 35 years, was a guest speaker through Skype. During the Skype call, Fonkck discussed his background as a programmer and the many technology opportunities available and offered students the opportunity to ask questions.
According to Della Rosa, there is so much to learn, so much to know and, in the future, he said, coding will just be another language and it will be taught just like a math or an English.
Michelle Cruz, a math teacher at North Plainfield High School who participated in the Hour of Code with her students, feels the experience gave her students another way to see how math applies in the real world. Additionally, Mariah Rohan, a senior at North Plainfield High School who has taken many of Della Rosa's elective computer classes, taught her own pre-calculus class how to code.
"Teaching my whole class how to code was exhilarating,” said Rohan. “I loved every second of it. To know that, at 17-years-old, I can teach kids the same age as me how to code was an honor. I was proud to share my knowledge and passion with my classmates."
Technology is always evolving and Della Rosa said many students can learn and obtain college-level skills at such a young age. “Teaching kids how to write code teaches them how to think,” he said. “Anyone can learn to code."