The continuing importance of technology and pervasiveness in our lives require a lot of people with coding skills. Through a special coding club, Union’s learners are not only being taught how to use technology, but also to understand the science behind it.
The Coding Club is a special extra-mural activity initiated by Mr Kallie Venter, an Old Unionite himself, aimed at engaging learners in Computer Science, and allowing them to gain a practical understanding of basic coding.
The Coding Club was started towards the end of 2018, when Mr Venter had the idea of providing the school with a new digital clock for rugby matches.
But, Mr Venter not only wanted to construct the clock for the school, he also wanted to share the knowledge required to build and programme the clock with the learners of the school.
The construction and completion of this project (which can now be seen next to Union’s Puttick Field) has created an enthusiastic group of tech-savvy learners who are all eager to learn more about coding and building devices using the Raspberry Pi.
Meetings are held on Tuesday evenings where learners continue to work on various projects.
The Club’s current project is a robot that will have an array of functions ranging from driving, shooting a water pistol and perhaps even confetti. All this will be determined by the ability of the learners, their dedication, as well as their imagination.
In addition to the practical skills the learners are acquiring while building the various devices, the learners are also beginning to understand the basics of web designing and programming as each device is being programmed to work off a mobile phone or tablet, once it has connected to the web page designed by the learners.
The benefits of learning coding at a young age are enormous and include the development of problem-solving skills, computational thinking, persistence, collaboration, and a deeper understanding of a range of mathematical concepts and language.
Union is exceedingly grateful to Mr Venter, assisted by Mr JP Kruger, for steering this initiative and providing our learners with this very valuable opportunity!