Lufkin school group recognized by Microsoft for use of coding software

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A group of students at Anderson Elementary School in Lufkin were recognized Tuesday by Microsoft.

The tech company recently released a coding and design software, called "MakeCode" that the Young Scholars program for Lufkin Independent School District has been utilizing.

Microsoft's Jacqueline Russell explained that the software, that the kids are using, is perfect for first time coders.

"It really is a product that aims to create a more inclusive computing education, through physical computing and making and crafting combined with the coding aspect," said Russell.

Two weeks ago, students like Isabella Wright picked something physical to craft and were instructed to use coding to add electrical lights.

"You can turn a piece of a box that someone might recycle after eating a cupcake out of, and you can turn that into a magical, kitty wizard," Wright said. "You are a genius."

Wright's project was especially magical.

"We're going to cover a circuit playground in paper and have the lights go off inside, so it looks like the kitty is conducting a spell," Wright said.

The students, among them Kenzie Hawkins, were also partnered up for the activity.

"When I first got my partner, I was like, I don't know what to do, then a few week later I was like this is a pretty good partner," Hawkins said.

Online organizations like offer people of all ages the opportunity, to learn how to code. Refranse Davis, the executive director of professional and digital learning, said that this program is that opportunity for these students.

"So the more opportunities that we can give kids about creating technology in this digital world that we live in, the better we're going to set them up for success," Davis said.

Microsoft had a camera crew videoing the kids while they worked on the software, as a way of providing feedback directly to Microsoft's CEO and executives.

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