On Wednesday, July 20th, a group of elementary students at the Gerald R. Ford Academic Center were introduced to software development. With the recent excitement around Pokemon Go, the students were very interested in learning how to develop apps. The Oakdale Neighbor's initiative was put on by volunteers from Michigan Software Labs as a way for students to be exposed to an important skill they might not otherwise have access to learning.
Josh Hulst, a Partner at Michigan Software Labs, said "we were really impressed with these young students and their ability to learn how to code." The goal of the session was to have students write a simple program that could be run like an app on a tablet device. The students learned skills such as writing simple code commands, starting a program, and arranging characters on a screen.
The tablets were donated, and all of the instructors were volunteers who are professional mobile app developers. The content was part of ScratchJr. ScratchJr., teaches young children (ages 5-7) how to program their own interactive stories and games. Throughout this process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on a computer.