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Bringing physics to life with computer coding

Bringing physics to life with computer coding
“Pong” game in progress, which was coded by high school students in their Physics class.

“Pong” game in progress, which was coded by high school students in their Physics class.

Many teachers at CTA, including high school teachers Ms. Davison (math) and Mr. Fredenburg (science), opted to incorporate the Hour of Code into their classes in December.

Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to demystify computer coding and demonstrate that anybody can learn the basics of coding.

Using a program called “Scratch,” seniors Josh Davidson and Keegan Shears designed a pong game and used the Makey Makey hardware to design a controller to play the game in their physics class.

Seniors Keegan Shears (L) and Josh Davidson (R) with their Pong game controller made out of a yard stick and circuits.

Seniors Keegan Shears (L) and Josh Davidson (R) with their Pong game controller made out of a yard stick and circuits.

They tied it into the Circuits and Electronics unit they were studying and where they learned how to interface the game using various circuits and electronics with a wooden yardstick as the base. The project follows the newly adopted next generation science standards in engineering design. Davidson and Shears currently have a working model and have additional phases planned to test and review their prototype to make improvements and redesigns.

Other student projects included a Dance Dance Revolution-type game, Firefly Sparts and a working model airplane. Each project presented its own unique challenges for the students to work through.

The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. This provided students with the opportunity to learn computer science, nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity to build a foundation for success in any 21st century career path.

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