Students at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School completed their first year of classes with STEM Coding Lab. These free classes provide basic computer science and coding skills to children of all income levels.

By Kathleen Conlogue

Photo: Daevaun Jackson and Jaymar Brock, students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, proudly display certificates they received for completing their first year of computer science and coding classes. The classes were made available through a partnership between the school and STEM Coding Lab, Inc. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Conlogue

On May 1, a group of students at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School celebrated the completion of their first year of computer science and coding classes. They shared their final projects with fellow students, teachers, and administrators and received certificates and special gifts to encourage their continued journey into computer science.

For the last seven months, the students learned coding through classroom instruction and online resources such as Code.org, Scratch, and Google during an after school program they attended three days a week. Throughout the year they used the concepts that they
learned to solve assigned problems, create art, develop animations, and build video games.

The program was provided through a partnership between Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary and the local nonprofit, STEM Coding Lab. STEM Coding Lab provides free computer science education and programs to schools and organizations that do not have access to these resources. They believe that exposure to computer science is important for all students regardless of income levels. STEM Coding Lab will be partnering with the Summer Dreamers Academy to provide classes for students to learn how to develop a website and explore the computer languages of HTML and CSS.