Holy Savior Students Learn to Code During Computer Science Education Week


SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - After Ethan Sauer spent his science class Friday learning about computer coding, the sixth-grader declared that coding “should be an Olympic sport.”

“It’s fun. It’s easy. It’s not that complicated to pick up,’’ said Sauer, 12, a student at Holy Savior Academy. “All you need is the devotion to learn it.”

Sauer was among Holy Savior students –- in fourth- through eighth-grade --- who participated in Computer Science Education Week’s “Hour of Code,” a national effort to get children interested in coding.

Sign Up for E-News

During the week of Dec. 9, sixth- to eighth-graders in Jen Durkin’s science class and fourth- and fifth-graders in Daneile Micale’s social studies class took part in Hour of Code, using the school’s laptop and tablets.

The students logged onto the website,, which is free to use, and then picked a game to code. They had the option to use a game they were familiar with, such as Angry Birds, or built their own game.  If the student chose Angry Birds, for example, he could code the bird’s each step to tell the bird to move left, right, or forward to get to the pig.

Durkin usually teaches about Earth sciences in her class but decided to use last week to introduce computer science to her students.

“So much of what we do is based on computers, yet many of us don’t know how they work,” said Durkin, adding that she wanted to demystify computer coding for her students.

“It’s a puzzle,” said Durkin. “They still like to solve a puzzle. It’s something that feels like it’s supposed to be hard and yet they did it.”

Durkin said computer coding teaches students to be critical thinkers and use basic logic.

That was the part Allison Mont, 10, a fifth-grader in Micale’s class, liked about coding.

“I liked that I was thinking really hard when I was playing,” she said.

Her classmate, Kaitlyn Adlassnig, 10, added: “I was learning in a fun way. You didn’t realize you were learning.”

Alex Figura, 11, a fifth-grader in Micale’s class, said after his Hour of Code Wednesday, he discussed the lesson with his family at the dinner table that night. After dinner, he showed his dad, Bill, who works in the computer science field, the website and they coded together.

As the students become more savvy in their coding, they can advance on to more challenging programs on the website.

That way, students like Thomas Knapp, 13, an eighth-grader who has been coding longer than his peers, can continue improving.

“It’s a good skill to learn,” said Knapp. “I’d like to go into computer science when I grow up; maybe go to MIT.”

Holy Savior Academy, located at 149 South Plainfield Ave. in South Plainfield, accepts students of all faiths in pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield


Chief Michael J. Cleary, Sr. 66, of South Plainfield, died suddenly on July 14, 2018. Born and ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Carly Kensey Graduates from ECU

July 13, 2018

GREENVILLE, NC -- Carly Kensey of South Plainfield graduated with a BA-Psychology from East Carolina University during spring commencement exercises May 4 in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

The fireworks capped off a new format for ECU's 109th spring commencement ceremony, which was held in the evening for the first time.

The keynote speaker for commencement was Linda McMahon, administrator of ...

Community Happenings

Adult “crafternoon” at the South Plainfield Public Library

July 15, 2018

Crafting isn't just for kids anymore!  Come to the South Plainfield Library on Saturday July 28 at 2pm for a fun filled “crafternon” for adults with crafter Patricia Dahl.  Crafters will be decorating a wine bottle. We will supply all the materials, just come and enjoy! If you have a glue gun at home, if you could bring it to the craft program.  Registration is ...

Frist Baptist Church of South Plainfield to Host Annual Vacation Bible School

July 17, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - First Baptist Church of South Plainfield will be holding their annual Vacation Bible School program the week of August 6-10 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. This free VBS program is open to children entering Kindergarten through entering 6th grade. Children will participate in this exciting experience learning how God is faithful and keeps His promises through Bible stories, songs, ...

South Plainfield Police Hiring Per-Diem Dispatchers

The South Plainfield Police Department is accepting applications for Per-Diem Police Dispatcher.  The following are the minimum requirements for applicants:

Must be at least 18 years of age
Must have a High School diploma or GED
Must be certified in 9-1-1, EMD and CPR
Must pass a background check and a computerized Dispatch test
Must be able to multi-task while using Police, ...


Diegnan Bill to Establish Asset Forfeiture Reporting and Transparency Requirements Passes Senate

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD) – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. that establishes asset forfeiture reporting and transparency requirements passed the full Senate today.

“Across New Jersey, law enforcement can confiscate cash, cars and other property from people, often without ever charging them with a crime,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex) “While ...

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little (Dog Ear Publishing, 2015)


Rich Little is a national treasure; a living encyclopedia of movie stars, comedians, and former presidents all wrapped into one dynamic package. Recently, my husband and I had the good fortune to see Little perform at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, where he has been doing his uncanny ...


Come join us Monday, July 23 at 6:30 PM for Monday Night Movies.  This week’s selection stars Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren, and it follows their characters as they journey across the country in a RV, rekindling their passion for life and their romance.  It is rated R.  If you cannot make it to the Monday night showing, there is a second screening on Wednesday, July 25 ...

Press Releases

ICE ERO Newark Arrests 37 Individuals in Middlesex County During Enforcement Surge

July 18, 2018

NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Newark Field Office arrested 37 individuals during a five-day operation that concluded Friday, as part of the agency’s ongoing public safety efforts. The operation targeted criminal aliens who were previously incarcerated at the Middlesex County Jail (MCJ), and who were subsequently ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...