Coding has become a fundamental building block of our future, but how can we make sure our youth are getting access to the tech education that they need?
Even though coding resources are available online to those who want to learn, it’s not that easy. There is a huge learning curve on top of opportunity gaps that prevent people from getting started.
Without the support of our public schools, students might not recognize that coding is a deeply important skill for the future. As well, there are cost and resource barriers for a lot of students.
Learning a new skill (especially one as challenging as coding), requires confidence building, community engagement, and having a learning environment that makes it worth it for the student.
That is the massive challenge that West Virginia Coding Club has taken on.
West Virginia Coding Club is here to amplify students
West Virginia Coding Club is bringing the opportunity to learn coding skills directly to students across West Virginia – and they’re doing it so well that they’re winning competitions.
WV coding club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering middle and high school students throughout the state the opportunity to learn coding skills, from basic skills straight through to advanced courses.
West Virginia Coding Club uses an online curriculum called Treehouse, which is an accredited edtech company that offers several online bootcamps for learners of all levels.
Treehouse has online content for coding that comes with problem sets, video lectures, and written content. There are hundreds of courses that are organized into tracks and Techdegrees, which empower students to learn and produce a coding portfolio.
For example, you can sign up for the Team Treehouse course on npm basics. It’ll take you about 45 minutes to do all of the material and problem sets. The purpose of the course is to teach you about npm to supplement a student’s pre-built knowledge in adjacent material.
If you want to start from the beginning, you can sign up for tracks like Beginning Python. Beginning python is a three-hour set of courses that starts at the beginning and takes you through things like syntax, numbers, and loops.
Beyond courses and tracks are Techdegrees, which are Treehouse’s online bootcamps that take between 3 and 8 months each on average to complete in full.
But for many, it’s not enough to just use Team Treehouse to learn to code. In isolation, and without real support in your learning, students misjudge how smart they are and how talented they can really be.
WV Coding Club supplements Team Treehouse content with speakers, video classrooms, a social network, and really cool opportunities like the Congressional App Contest.
With the efforts of WV Coding Club, the students in West Virginia have the support and engagement they really need to take on Team Treehouse content and succeed.
Every year, WV Coding Club attends the Congressional app contest, and for the third year in a row WV Coding Club students have achieved the state title for best app.
State title at the Congressional App Contest for the third year in a row
The Congressional App Contest is an app development contest for youth throughout the United States. Students all across the U.S. develop apps and submit them to the Committee in hopes to achieve prizes such as state titles, and monetary prizes such as $100 worth of AWS credits.
Getting a chance to experiment with AWS hosting for free is a pretty incredible chance for learning and developing real-world technology!
This year the WV Coding Club students won with a mobile game app for playing connect 4! You can check out their presentation here.
They built their app in React, and learned some pretty cool stuff, such as how to keep the game board in the center of the screen despite all of the different device sizes.
Congratulations WV Coding Club!
Students are flying through the Team Treehouse content
Completing several online courses in coding, on top of their typical public school curriculum, is just another day in the life of a WV Coding Club student.
These students love the material and they’re just flying through it.
One student has finished several of Treehouse’s Techdegrees, which can take on average between 3 and 8 months to finish for each program.
Way to go West Virginia Coding Club!
6th year making a difference!
West Virginia Coding Club was founded 6 years ago by Dan McElroy, who was previously a middle school teacher in West Virginia.
During his time teaching at a middle school, Dan started to do some more in-depth research on what other states were doing to get their students up-to-speed with tech. Dan realized that West Virginia was behind other schools and became torn about how to give the students the best education he could.
Dan stepped outside the system and formed a nonprofit, recruited some staff, sought funding, and started to teach coding to middle and high schoolers. Dan decided to partner with Treehouse because he was impressed with the program, and within months his new organization was taking off!
With this kind of track record and the great learning environment, several sponsors have gotten involved to make sure the West Virginia Coding Club stays funded and running.
We’re glad to be in partnership with West Virginia Coding Club
Here at Team Treehouse, we know that it takes strong leaders and teachers to reach students and make this material come to life.
West Virginia Coding Club is making this happen for Team Treehouse content and they’re really making coding a reality for their students.
We couldn’t be more excited for their future and for the bright future ahead of these amazing students!
How can you get involved?
Are you an educator? Reach out to Dan McElroy about how you can bring better tech education to your students! Start a West Virginia coding club at your school, and get involved!
Are you a sponsor? West Virginia Coding Club is looking for sponsors to help bring material and content to students! You can find ways to help here and get this organization fueled to succeed!