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Post By:  Daily Herald

Grant helps Dist. 214 introduce coding into math classes

Grant helps Dist. 214 introduce coding into math classes

 

Every student at Northwest Suburban High School District 214 will soon learn how to write computer code as part of their math curriculum.

The effort, announced on Thursday, is partially funded through a nearly $60,000 grant from Bosch Rexroth Corp. in Hoffman Estates, and will better prepare all students for the changing employment landscape, officials said.

“Our job is to prepare students for a world and a future that we can’t even imagine and one that is going to reinvent itself several times in their lifetime,” said Superintendent Dave Schuler. “One thing that is for certain is that having some experience or understanding of coding is going to help them survive and thrive.”

The grant from Bosch will pay teachers to help write the new curriculum and cover the costs of professional development to bring all the district’s math teachers up to speed.

“There is a mutual benefit not only to the school, but also to Bosch to have students coming out that are prepared,” said David Deremer, Bosch vice president of human resources, as he presented the check for $57,500.

Coding lessons, at least one each quarter, will be integrated into geometry, algebra I and algebra II classes starting in January, said Keith Beloff, director of math at Prospect High School.

“It’s a coding lesson that is tied directly into what they are learning,” he said.

Students at Rolling Meadows High School tried one of the new lessons for the first time on Thursday, working to write lines of code that would make certain words appear on their calculator.

“It’s exciting to learn,” said Chris Bruno, a freshman at Rolling Meadows. “Our world is evolving around technology and we might end up having a job where we need to know this.”

Laz Lopez, associate superintendent for teaching and learning, said the new curriculum will also pinpoint students who may be interested in pursuing the information technology career pathway later in high school.

In 2012-13 there were 206 students pursuing the information technology career pathway at District 214, Lopez said. By this school year, it was 779 and Lopez said he expect those numbers to double again with more students being exposed to coding.

“I really like it,” said Daisy Alvarado, a freshman at Rolling Meadows. “At first I didn’t really know what it was. I’m glad they are starting to teach this. It’s good just to be introduced to it because it’s not something I would have learned otherwise.”

Aside from their calculators, students will also be able to write code on their district-issued iPads.

“The goal is that in couple years this becomes a seamless part of how we deliver math,” Lopez said.

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