WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/553574

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Page 171 of 227

buy Chromebook PCs for kids who don't have iPads or laptops to use during some of our classes," says Nicole. This fall, JrCode Academy is offering the following courses at its new location at the Wellesley Recreation Department: n Early Coders (grades K-1)* n Early Coders Lab (grades K-1) n Scratch Intro (grades 2-3) n Scratch Intro Lab (grades 2-3) n Scratch Intermediate (grades 4-5) n Scratch Intermediate Lab (grades 4-5) n JavaScript Intro (grades 6-8) n JavaScript Intro Lab1 (grades 6-8) *Grade levels for all classes are approximate. For example, students in grade two or three who do not feel comfortable starting with the Scratch Intro class may enroll in Early Coders. Programming classes range from Scratch, a simplified pro- gram, to Java, a more advanced and word-based computer program. This fall semester the academy has nine teachers from Wellesley College, Olin College, and Boston College. Two public school teachers have also joined the team. In addition, five Wellesley High School stu- dents are available to help with after-school programs. Andy Matarese, who is nine years old and took the beginning cod- ing class this past winter, says the teachers are good and funny and that they helped him with his imagination. According to Andy, "I wish I could do it every day for two hours. It's so fun, but you're actually learning something." His mom, Brooke Matarese, adds, "I highly recommend this pro- gram. It's a great opportunity for children to start computer program- ming at a young age. It's a very accessible and kid-friendly way to expose kids to coding." Jack Madden, a Wellesley high school student who works as an assistant teacher for jrCode Academy, agrees. He says, "These kids are doing projects in third and fourth grades that I did in the high school introductory programming class. It's exciting." Dr. Cohen, who joined Wellesley High School four years ago, has seen yearly enrollment in computer programming classes jump from 11 kids to 150 kids in that time. "There's a new feeling that everyone can be involved in coding. Now over 50 percent of our students are female, and we've seen a marked increase in minority involvement. Coding used to be the last boys' club. Not anymore," he says. As for Ruth and Nicole, they ultimately plan to provide a curricu- lum that teaches the basics to kids in kindergarten all the way to advanced level instruction for high school kids who want additional classes to prepare them for the AP computer science exam. "Our long- term goal at jrCode Academy is to open up in other similar locations, like Concord and Dover," says Nicole. "That's why we want the curricu- lum buttoned up. We wanted to make it as user-friendly and mobile as possible." family matters "a very accessible and kid-friendly way to expose kids to coding" 170 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 5 TO FIND OUT MORE about jrCode Academy or to register for classes, go to www.jrcode.com/.

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