Computers are part of everyday life with even car mechanics needing computer skills to repair modern vehicles.

South East Cornerstone Public School Division is finding ways to prepare students for computer-related industries through Coding Quest.

"Through a program called Coding Quest, its bringing coding instruction to our elementary students. All students really should learn to code and hopefully, Saskatchewan will develop it into the curriculum," explained Peggy Lawson, Program Manager for Coding Quest, Learning Partnership who has been teaching the coding quest sessions in the schools.

Coding is the language that makes software, apps and websites possible. SECPSD is the first school division in Saskatchewan to bring Coding Quest to schools. There are 18 SECPSD schools taking part in coding quest including 36 classrooms and over 700 students.

"Through Coding quest, we teach students how to code and following an inquiry project in one of their subject areas student teams will develop computer games which they can use to showcase the knowledge they have learned from their project."

Lawson said Coding helps to develop in students 21st-century skills and way of thinking to help develop problem-solving and computational thinking.

"The ability to take a large complex problem, in this case, developing a computer game and breaking it down into manageable tasks that are much easier to complete then building it together to build the larger product."

There are 18 SECPSD schools taking part in coding quest including 36 classrooms and over 700 students.

"Students learn to work collaboratively in small groups, each student taking over a different part of the project."

Lawson uses a free program called Scratch to teach coding which uses block coding. Block coding is more simple than the complex code used in the industry and helps students understand the basics which can be built on later.

"When your working with students in classrooms and they can see what they can do within minutes of getting started with the program, it's just very exciting. The engagement by the students is just huge."

A showcase is being planned for later in the year where students can present the computer games they are making with the skills learned through Coding Quest.

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