Programming with ASP
This morning, our entire community held an Hour of Code, which focuses on demystify coding for students of all ages. The Hour of Code organization helps to show participants that, "anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science." This worldwide effort to celebrate computer science is open to participants from anywhere in the world, at any time! From addressing gender disparities in computer science to socio-economic access to programming, to making coding a fun and accessible activity for all, the Hour of Code helps the ASP community join in breaking down the barriers that exist between students and computer science.
To kick off this awesome event, a recent alumni, Mahmoud Nasser ('09), joined our all-school Zoom to talk about the importance of programming and computer science. Mahmoud is a Senior Technical Consultant at IBM, with over 5 years of experience working in technology. He graduated ASP in 2009 with an IB diploma, obtained a Masters in Computer Engineering from Polytech Paris in 2014, and currently lives and works in London, UK.
Mahmoud shared that the best part of working in technology is the ability to work on new and innovative solutions that impact the world in a positive way.
He inspired our students to dive into their mini-coding projects by describing his work in the banking sector and how programming new services for banking clients has helped people get their questions answered without having to risk venturing out during the COVID-19 crisis.
He shared that, while he studied engineering, he is surrounded by colleagues who come from many different academic backgrounds, all working together from their own perspective to solve problems with computer science. Mahmoud reminded students that taking the first step into learning how to code opens many doors, and he encouraged everyone to find their niche in computer science, rather than trying to fit themselves into the stereotype of a coder. Mahmoud credited his teachers at ASP for helping shape him into the person he is today, and gave a special shout out to his teachers on the call who changed his life for the better!
Following this rousing call to coding, students from Grades K3–12 (and our faculty/staff!) dove into their coding projects. Our youngest students approached coding by learning about sequences and patterns, and practiced coding instructions by "programming" their friends to dance!
Older Lower School students broke out the iPads to practice block-based coding with little digital creates, and creating series of commands for robots.
Middle School students jumped into many different activities, from Minecraft and Barbie-themed coding activities. Upper School students took their projects to the micro-level by creating uniquely shaped DNA using programming language.