Lynwood – Learning to navigate and steer a boat for Disney’s “Moana” is no simple task, but students throughout the Lynwood Unified School District learned to do this and more through computer coding software in celebration of Computer Science Week, held Dec. 5-9.

All Lynwood Unified schools hosted their own one-hour workshops, called an Hour of Code, for students to learn about coding programs that included Google CS First, Code Academy and Tynker. The goal of Computer Science Week and the Hour of Code is to immerse students in coding projects or lessons, bringing about awareness of potential STEM-related hobbies and careers.

“Computer coding is becoming a fundamental talent that many careers rely on in our current job market,” Superintendent Paul Gothold said. “These Hour of Code events open a door for every student to discover something that might turn into their passion. We are working to incorporate more coding opportunities for students so they can code anytime throughout the year.”

Elementary school students animated Gumball, a Cartoon Network cat character, to walk about and interact with friends while middle school students used Code Monkey to “learn code, capture bananas and save the world,” as the game reminded students throughout their adventure.

Other students, like Lincoln Elementary fifth-grader Daniella Martin, created Minecraft swords and fruit salads for characters to “protect themselves and eat healthy,” as Martin explained.

“It’s amazing to know I could change the world with one click of a finger!” Martin said. “I really like that kids my age are already learning how to code and make video games. It’s just so unique that we get to express ourselves in this way.”

Martin also codes in an after-school program, where she constantly has access to coding and computer programs that she says are turning into an exciting potential career option for her.

“It’s amazing that Lynwood Unified provides so many opportunities for students and begins teaching them about high-tech careers when they are in transitional kindergarten,” Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “Providing these experiences for students prepares them for high school, college and a career.”


121316_LUSD_CODE1: Lincoln Elementary fifth-graders in Elena Canovas’ class create Hot Wheels cars, Minecraft accessories and video obstacle courses using coding programs during an Hour of Code on Dec. 6 in celebration of Computer Science Week.

121316_LUSD_CODE2: Firebaugh High seniors Aileen Banuelos (left) and Citlaly Prado (right) work with biomedical teacher Melissa Bejarano to navigate a virtual boat in a “Moana” Disney coding game during an Hour of Code on Dec. 6 in celebration of Computer Science Week.

121316_LUSD_CODE3: Marshall Elementary transitional kindergartener Mia Godines animates a virtual dog using a coding game during an Hour of Code on Dec. 6 in celebration of Computer Science Week.