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High schooler cracks the code for inspiring students with programming during COVID-19

AUG 25, 2020 • 8 min read

High school student and talented programmer, Luiza, 17, has over the past four years, mastered the essential skill of coding, and over the past 8 months, has been delivering Python lessons to children at a nearby public school together with her classmates. 9 Mm J Hll 71 L Hbm A 7 ABG 9 K Rp LU Zx SY Zd Yt QER 8 X Sezu K Xm D Rvzxt Btq E Zm Pr Sz Ixk Fz 7 Djd M Rydz QNAMI Rz I 0 Yi GM Zpa 1 Ml EB Dyp 7 S 0 Hq 44 Hk 3 N U 2 Udxb 0 Ne G 8 O 8 Tz YL 3 F Dgt

After successfully delivering two in-person and 10 virtual classes so far, the six school students aim to raise funds through a virtual piggy bank to provide the students with computers that will allow them to continue to develop essential STEM skills for the future.

After seeing how limited young students’ exposure to coding was across Sao Paulo, Luiza, alongside her peers founded the Code Kids initiative which has since gone completely virtual, with a series of lessons delivered on YouTube in order to continue to upskill the students during COVID-19 lockdown measures.

“Once delivering our lessons, we soon began to notice the limited amount of resources students had available to aid their learning. That is why we have begun to raise funds to purchase more laptops so that the students can get the most out of their educational experience not only during our coding lessons, but also throughout all subject areas.”

“With enough funds raised the students will get to purchase 10 Chrome Books which will be donated to the school.”

Before lockdown measures were in place, Luiza, who has a goal of studying at the top liberal arts college for women, Barnard College in Manhattan, NYC, kept a gruelling extracurricular schedule. Straight after school, she would lead coding classes for an hour before heading straight to her local swimming club. This was typically followed by study across subjects including: computer science, Portuguese literature, economics and physics.

However since the COVID-19 outbreak, the team have scaled their efforts online, to support even more students.

“Before the COVID-19 outbreak, our impact was quite small as we would teach Python to a class of 12 students who are 11-12 years old. Since quarantine, we have adapted our project and are now posting weekly lessons on YouTube, as well as using Instagram to share them and make it more public.

“Since quarantine we have moved our lessons to YouTube, allowing anyone who is interested in learning the basics of python to do so for free!”

Luiza says mentoring she has received from her personalised team at Crimson Education has provided her with the guidance to scale her efforts amidst COVID-19 challenges. “My extracurricular and leadership mentor was crucial in helping me adapt my project from a physical to a digital one. Without my mentor Laila’s help, the project would not have moved forward during COVID as successfully as it has been, and for that I am extremely grateful.”

For other high school students who are looking to make a positive impact on the community but are not sure where to start, Luiza says the key is finding your passion. “I believe that you have to find something which you truly love and are invested in. Creating a project from scratch takes a lot of energy and dedication and sometimes it is better to join one if it already exists.”

“If your idea does not exist and you would love to make an impact somehow, I would encourage you to speak to a mentor as they are extremely helpful in giving you advice and guidance into creating your own project! All you need is an initial idea and passion, and from there you can turn your ideas into impacts!”

When asked about her own continued education goals, Luiza says computer science as well as media and communications are both fields she is interested in pursuing once graduating from high school. But for now, her focus is on continuing to positively impact the lives of students around her by ensuring Code Kids continues in the years ahead.

“I think coding is more than just words on a screen. It helps people think logically, which I think is crucial for people of a young age. It is also the future, so I believe the younger you are exposed to it, the more you will benefit as people will most probably have to learn it anyways given the growing technology around us.”

“Education is one of the most important pillars in life. I will be opening applications for younger students to apply and carry the project forward!” Luiza said.

Has this given you any great ECL ideas?

The best extracurricular activities for college applicants are those like Luiza’s Code Kids, creatively transforming real interests and passions into great activities and projects.

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