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Roosevelt Students Embark on Coding Program

Students at Roosevelt High School, on San Antonio's northeast side, are joining a growing number students learning how to code computer programs with help from their neighbors, Rackspace. The campus and six other NEISD schools are participating in the Hour of Code.

Code.org is a national non-profit entering classrooms with its Hour of Code program. Students, or anyone, spend one hour each week learning how to write the code of games, applications and other program. In the Roosevelt Library, at least 2,000 students will take the first hour. Daniel Sherrill with Rackspace's Rack Gives Back program said the Hour of Code is an introduction into learning how to solve problems with code.

“The idea is just to spark that interest in students who may have never thought of pursuing a career in being a computer programmer."

To make coding more user-friendly, familiar characters from Angry Birds and Plants Vs. Zombies are guided through a maze using a series of commands. David, a freshman at Roosevelt HS, said he hasn’t planned on going into coding as a profession, but believes it will help him in any job.

“In the future our technology will get a lot more advanced and it will get easier to understand. It will be like solving an easy math equation,” the student said.

Steven Williford, a multimedia teacher at Roosevelt, says this program has simplified coding to it’s easy to comprehend.

“You don’t have to type in [the code], you can drag and drop it. You can get the fundamentals of what it means to do conditional statements, if-then loops, and if you’re comfortable with those if you can progress into it, you can go ahead and write it out," Williford explained.

Rackspace is also involving the six other NEISD schools, including elementary schools, that feed into Roosevelt. NEISD is not the only district incorporating code. The San Antonio Independent School District uses a similar program at Highlands High School. 

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules