Two years ago, Elliott Lowman made a PowerPoint presentation on computer programming, including its history and the creation of microchips, for the Gifted Education Project Showcase at Clements/Parsons Elementary School in Cove.
Now the 11-year-old avid computer lover was the youngest student in a class of 10 taking the Programming for Teens class July 10-14 at Central Texas College’s College for Kids summer program.
“Games and apps are what I like to work on,” said Lowman, returning for his second summer of computer classes.
“Programming is a super power,” said instructor Anderson Fernades, who has taught the class since 2014 and is also the Webmaster at Mayborn Science Theater. “It’s about solving problems, and what they’ll learn in four days is equal to a semester of college classes.”
The classes examined each aspect of programming basics by using fun problem-solving exercises and game playing. Each student worked ona computer equipped with the software programs and started learningthe fundamentals of writingvariables, data types and flow charts.
Day on focused on JAVA basics and teaching the flow charting program, Raptor. On Days two and three, it was about the actual JAVA code and setting up their programs, along with JAVA’s text editor, JDK.
The final day, the students combined all their new skills and knowledge to complete a project and then write their own program or game.
But unlike other summer classes, this one had homework. So, students needed to download the free programs to their home computers to complete the assignments.
“No problem, since I’m on my computer a lot,” said Madison Sutton, 14.
Some students were novices, like Cadence Argumaniz, 16,who took the class as an experiment to see if she likes it — and she did.
“This is really interesting,” Argumanizsaid.
While most of the kids are not computer geeks, they are curious about how to create their own programs to suit their needs. A serious Minecraft gamer, Vlad Serban, 14, came withideas for several apps he wants to make.
“It’s not hard if you know what you want to do with programming,” Serban said.
Ashley McCray, 14, agreed, saying she wants to program robots.
“It’s a nice class with lots of information,” she said.
“Students says what they learn gives them a very good base to go forward to learn other programming languages, which is the goal of this class,” Fernandes added.
For more information, call the continuing education office at 254-526-1586.