WFISD 3rd graders learn language of code

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Information technology and knowing how to program have become increasingly valuable as a tool for anyone looking to work in today's digital age, especially for young students in the Wichita Falls Independent School District.

TAG, or talented and gifted, is a group of highly intelligent and creative students who are learning more than just basic classes.  They're learning the language of the digital age: coding.

"We wanted to kind of bring it into the 21st century, and we had gone to a lot of events where we had seen Spheros and some of the robotics going on. We knew students would be really excited and interested in this, so we wanted to bring it back and try it out with some of the TAG students," said Glenn.

So far, the risk has paid off, and it's worked better than Glenn's hypothesis could have hoped for.

"All you have to do is kind of show them what to do, and then cut them loose.  It's amazing what they can do after that. Today, what we're focusing on is the basics of coding, called block coding, and then there are some commands that you need to do, the amount of time,  the speed and the direction," said Glenn.

Using iPads, Glenn's TAG students punch in code and program their robots or Spheros to perform specific functions. Though immensely talented for their ages, the kids are the first to tell you it's not easy, but they're very focused and determined.

"It's pretty hard.  We had to take multiple times because it's not going to work on the first time.  You have to try over and over again to get it right," said 3rd grader Carsen Miller.

The young man, along with two fellow classmates, can successfully work as a team to make their Sphero maneuver through a custom cardboard maze. The kids may not realize it, but they're learning more than just coding. They're learning how to get along and work well with others.

"In the workforce, you have to work with people. You don't have to like everybody you work with, but you have to work with them, and that's a skill that we talk about in here that they have to develop also," said Glenn.

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