Los Fresnos CISD Adds Coding Labs in Grades K-5

Los Fresnos Elementary Kindergarten students show off their work on coding as Los Fresnos CISD prepares to launch coding labs in Grades K-5. Photo: LFCISD

Los Fresnos Elementary Kindergarten students show off their work on coding as Los Fresnos CISD prepares to launch coding labs in Grades K-5. Photo: LFCISD

by Ronnie Zamora/LFCISD

An Hour of Code will become a School Year of Code starting in August.

Los Fresnos CISD elementary school students from Kindergarten through 5th grade will receive weekly coding instruction from a certified teacher starting in the 2018-19 school year.

The district has made this commitment to extend STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education into the elementary schools. The initiative will develop skill sets of elementary school students to help them reach a higher level of proficiency in computer science.

“Computer Science is so much more than learning about technology,” said Gonzalo Salazar, Los Fresnos CISD Superintendent. “Computer Science is about logic, problem-solving and creativity. Participating in an Hour of Code is great because it exposes students to coding, but it is just an event once a year.”

District staff has planned and developed the curriculum and will repurpose and furnish existing computer labs with the proper software and equipment this summer. Software applications that were previously available in computer labs will be relocated so that students may access them on classroom computers and electronic devices.

“By helping our students reach a higher level of proficiency in computer science applications, we will broaden their horizons and provide them with skills they need to be the creators, innovators and entrepreneurs,” Salazar said.

The District currently provides secondary students with electives through which they can further develop skills in computer science applications. Introducing students to computer science at the elementary level will ensure that all students will enter the secondary level with a solid foundation in computer science.

“Providing experiences that develop these skills throughout the continuum of their academic experience is key to ensuring our students are equipped with the tools they need to compete in the global market and to make informed decisions as they choose career options,” Salazar said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics show that 58 percent of all new jobs in STEM are in the area of computing while only 8 percent of STEM graduates are in the area of computer science.

Brookings, a nonprofit public policy, organization based in Washington D.C. reported that college graduates with a computer science education have an early potential of 40 percent higher wages.

“I look forward for the day that a student from Los Fresnos CISD gives the world something we did not know existed,” Salazar said.

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