Code Club to reboot interest in technology

HTML tutorial

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THERE IS a new club on the list of after-school activities: Code Club.

Founder and senior Neil Chen stated, “The goal is to teach people how to code, and in the process, increase interest in technology and computer science.” He hopes his the club “fills a gap THHS has yet to address in STEM courses, and introduces a culture of exploring the limits of people’s knowledge.”

Code Club meets every Monday in Room 634 after school and currently has about 60 members. Members alter and write different codes to create complex projects. The club’s presidents have presentations ready at meetings and teach members coding essentials like HTML and the basics of Java. After showing them these skills, members can try them out on the school’s Chromebooks. In addition, there are guest speakers who share their ideas and knowledge of coding. No experience is necessary to join.

Neil explained, “Many things motivated me to start this club. The first factor was my exposure over the summer to hackathons and their subculture. I was drawn in by the idea of people, anywhere from a dozen to a thousand, coming together to collaboratively code and demonstrate their work.”

He believes that the science department of THHS is strong. However, “Technology evolves at an incredible rate, and the least we can do is learn how it fundamentally works. To that end, Code Club exposes people to the mechanics which underlie tools we use on a daily basis,” Neil stated.

The THHS Club Liaison, senior Hannah Jang, stated, “I think coding offers a skill that we all need in the future but haven’t had the opportunity to obtain. Code Club gives that opportunity to students.”

Some members, like Neil, have been exposed to coding prior to the club, having been a part of other computer science clubs and organizations such as NYC Generation Tech, Girls Who Code, and the Computer Science and Technology for Urban Youth. Neil is also a collaborator on a national group of club founders called hackEDU, which is aimed at helping similar club organizers in about 30 high schools.

However, other members are new to coding.

Sophomore Maggie Zhou said, “I’ve only begun to learn to code but I wanted to explore coding and this was the perfect club.” She continues, “I enjoy learning how to code and the push and encouragement given to us to create a project that we want.”

Hannah has a lot of faith in the success of the club. “I think it’s safe to say that although our school is mainly driven by humanities, I, along with the rest of the SU board, find lots of students that enjoy science,” she said. “I think coding is a great gateway for any student interested, especially since our student body is made up of a lot of girls, it will be beneficial for them.”

Coordinator of Student Activities Sarah Oberlander believes that “if you can change technology, you can change the future, so I think these kids can change the future.”