Junior high incorporates coding into math curriculum


Audrey Jewett

Junior high students learn coding from instructor Mr. Fred Hennen. The coding material is meant to enhance the current math curriculum

Every year, the number of jobs in today’s society requiring a background in computer skills increases. Technological advances are creating new types of jobs for the upcoming generation that did not exist in the past, and it will be essential for kids in school now to learn specific computer and technology skills in order to thrive in the workplace. One of the most prevalent and necessary skills is coding.

Starting this year, math classes in the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Junior High began teaching coding skills to seventh and eighth graders. Coding is a type of programming that creates everything from websites to games based entirely upon codes, words, and specific directions given to a computer. Seventh and eighth grade math classes spend a couple weeks learning how coding works and the skills needed to successfully code. Junior High math teacher Mr. Fred Hennen gave a helping hand in the process to start coding in the junior high math classes. As the program grows and develops, students will be able to take their new skills and potentially utilize them in technological careers. “There will be a lot of opportunities for computer programmers in the future, so to help students see this opportunity is important,” Mr. Hennen said.

The coding unit has received both positive and negative feedback from the students. Seventh grader Lily Nederveld likes coding in her math class and thinks it has become very useful. “Coding gives me an opportunity to explore different areas of math and use the skills and concepts in other subjects,” said Nederveld.

Coding gives me an opportunity to explore different areas of math and use the skills and concepts in other subjects.

— Lily Nederveld

While some students are keen on coding, others find it difficult and tedious. Seventh grader Molly Segner found that computer skills were not her strong suit. “It’s hard because it takes computer skills and common sense,” Segner said.

Despite the mixed reviews, Mr. Hennen is glad some students are taking interest and hopes the Senior High adds some sort of computer programing class in the future. Because of the number of kids becoming attracted to coding, Mr. Hennen started a coding club for the Junior High this year. “It is my hope that from the mini-lessons, interested students join the Coding Club. From the Coding Club, I hope students continue following their interest in coding through high school,” Mr. Hennen said.

The future of the coding program is bright for the school and presents a new way of learning for students. Learning this new skill presents a good opportunity for BSM students to develop their computer skills and create a wider background for future job resumes.