Last month, school kicked off at Lift for Life Academy and our team of volunteers just started the fall session of 1904Coders, a program that helps teach middle school students to build their own smartphone apps. This is the fifth year of the 1904labs Coders program, which has served over 100 students at Lift for Life in that time. As we gear up for the next class this fall, we look back on the celebration from the spring semester.
This past May, students had the opportunity to display the apps they came up with at the1904Coders Talent Showcase held at the Central Library. Over the course of the spring semester, volunteers from 1904labs met with 6th to 8th graders and assisted them in developing a mobile app. Each class focuses on the fundamentals of software design and development techniques. By the end of the very first session, students build their own working app!
Coding is a valuable skill for teens to start learning early as our world becomes more digitally powered. The 1904Coders program tries to develop those vital technological skills early and show students a way to bring their ideas to life.
Tyrone is one of the 1904Coders who designed and built his own app where people can take pictures and then add drawings on top of them.
“I created an art app where you get to draw, it's called Full Snap, you can take pictures and draw on it. My favorite part of the class was coming in everyday, opening up the computer and learning something new. I learned a lot, like I learned what variable encoding is.”
- Tyrone, 1904Coders Student
Tyrone’s father saw his son became more curious about coding, and he really challenged himself throughout the Coders program
“The coders program has been a secret. Tyrone closes his door to his room and he doesn’t allow me or my wife in there for anything, and he misses a lot of meals sometimes when he is getting his coding done. He has been working on some animation and he is in competition with himself. Tyrone is here for 1904Coders to impress the world and everyone here.”
- Tyrone’s Dad
The Coders Showcase allowed the students to show off their apps to their parents, those from Lift for Life, the St. Louis Public Library, and others from 1904labs. Jessica Caldwell, the development manager at St. Louis Public Library Foundation, was one of the event attendees. She said:
“I knew I was coming to look at kids who had created an app, but I was not expecting it to be this intense. I had a little bit of nostalgia with some which was really cool because you had some kind of like Super Mario and then the snake program, so as the 80s kid this was so nice to come and see kids who find a way to connect across multi-generations with these apps as well. That’s really cool to see kids who want to go beyond what's expected of them, and it is really nice to see that they’re applying themselves more than what’s expected for middle schooler.”
The point of 1904Coders program is to help students learn valuable coding skills, celebrate their accomplishments, and ultimately, develop future innovators. We’re excited to keep pursuing that mission with our next class of students!
You can watch the full video of the Coders Showcase here and below.