Koreans teach Leupp kids computer science

Navajo Times | Krista Allen
Samuel Ahn, 12, right, shows students at Hope Tutoring and Coding Center the basics of robotics using an mBot, an educational programmable robot.

By Krista Allen
Special to the Times

LEUPP, Ariz.

The instructors at a makeshift school operate inside a lofted barn cabin in southwestern Navajo, helping every child enrolled develop skills that will benefit them in the future.

Hope Tutoring and Coding Center is situated behind Leupp Baptist Church where students every Saturday, during each quarter, reproduce Bible stories through computer science, robotics, and Scratch – a programming language and online community where children can program and share interactive media such as animation, games, music and art with other children from across the globe. “We’re going to have some fun today,” Jae K. Chang said on a particular Saturday morning. “We’re going to start with some worship and then we’re going to learn and do our lesson today.”

Chang, who is a chiropractor in Phoenix, led worship services then introduced the lesson: The resurrection of Jesus Christ, a Bible story central to the Christian faith and told in many different, creative ways.

The instructors at Hope say one way to tell this story is through computer science and robotics, both of which blend all of the STEM categories: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. “A lot of kids here, I hear that they don’t have a home computer, but it seems like they pick it up right away,” said Andrew Ahn, an IT project manager at SonicWall in Phoenix and one of the instructors at Hope. “I was really surprised.”

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Categories: Education