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Coding their own Magic 8 Ball

Coding their own Magic 8 Ball
Maconaquah High School students code apps
By Eric Stoff,

Maconaquah High School students are learning the science behind tools they use every day — smartphone apps.

Julie Dinn’s Computer Science class has recently crafted a ‘Magic 8 Ball’ app using new computer coding skills. Dinn described it as a “new kind of learning.”  

“Many students know how to use apps on their mobile devices but do not understand how the touch of a button can make something happen,” Dinn said. “This course allows them to see it in real time.”  

The new course is a component of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum. Students are currently building apps, and they will learn more about HTML, Java, and Python coding later in the school year.

MHS junior Jairus McKibben and sophomore Brayden Endsley said Computer Science is their favorite class.

McKibben plans to study and work in computer science after he graduates.

“Computer science is one of those endless things that can always be added upon,” McKibben said. “It’s not going to be stagnant ever, which is good because I get bored easily.”

Instead of learning lessons he “might use someday,” his computer classes teach him things he will “use every day.”

Endsley said he wants to design video games and other various software engineering, and this experience in coding apps will prove useful to him.

“I’ll be playing a game that I really like, and then I’ll want to build something like that myself,” he said. Endsley added he wants to work at the company that creates his favorite computer game, Smite.

“Not a lot of people take into consideration how (their software) works. They just use it, and it works, so they like it,” Endsley said.

Dinn said the class has been a challenge to her as an educator, and it's exciting to see “what students can make on their own.”

“As a teacher, it is a great experience to plant the seed and watch the seed grow,” Dinn said. “The students in this course have taken this idea and ran with it. They seem to be eager to learn and try a new step to make an app do more things.”



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MHS News & Notes

Thanks for a great start to the 2016-2017 school year!  

  • Student Drivers: Parking permits are now available for $2
  • Make sure you have the Student Handbook form signed by a parent and returned to the office.
  • Club call-out meetings will begin the week of August 8.