Seminole Science STEM Charter School starts students coding on day 1

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – When it comes to career planning, students at Seminole Science STEM Charter School are ahead of the game, with human coding classes available for students as young as kindergarten.

Teacher Kevin Grece runs the school's science, technology, engineering and math lab. He said the idea is to get students interested in real-world concepts they can build on into high school and beyond.

Fifth-graders are working on the concept of human coding.

"They program each other to do simple programming," Grece said.

Students each write a program of commands. Another student then acts as the "robot" and performs the commands as the programmer reads them. Each sequence ends with a simple task, like writing on a white board. Grece said to the casual observer, it may look pretty easy, but a lot of science goes into making the perfect program.

"They have to then measure the distance and the angles the robot will turn," he said.

The school's assistant principal of curriculum Christina Stangle said the key is making learning fun.

"You work with kids where they are and where their interests lie," she said.

The approach is working. Fifth-grader Om Telang is already thinking about the future.

"We get to do programming, which can be used later in life because there are many computer engineering jobs and coding jobs, which you may have to edit apps used for work," Telang said.

About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.