April 24, 2018 --
Calling it a highlight of her career, Heights Middle School science teacher Michelle Walton and members of IndeedWeCode
demonstrated computer coding and explained its importance in Ohio's curriculum to the Ohio School Board.
District 11 Representative Meryl Johnson invited the program to give a presentation about computer coding to answer the Board's questions: What is computer coding? And, why & how should computer science education be fully implemented in Ohio's schools?
IndeedWeCode is a local computer coding program for African American high school girls, co-founded by Walton in 2015. On March 12, Walton facilitated the girls teaching a micro coding lesson during the board meeting. The "students" included all the board members, their staffers, and many of the press corp and other members of the audience. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria along with a state senator and state representative also participated in the coding lesson. Seven high school girls were the instructional team. The delegation also included seven parents and four members of the leadership team.
The group concluded by presenting a bound document called "Digital Literacy is Now." It includes information about the girls and the leadership team, a description of the program, and a section that includes perspectives from stakeholders about the importance of computer science education.
IndeedWeCode held its first two-week camp in the summer of 2015 at Cleveland State University. Their fourth camp will be held this summer at the state-of-the-art Technology Hub at Richmond Heights High School.
"We have expanded our program to year-round training, leadership and teaching opportunities. Our program also includes parent advocates and female IT professionals that serve as mentors," said Walton.
"My main responsibilities are setting the standards and creating the atmosphere for the program. I am the curriculum liaison to the instructor, I manage the daily operations of the camp, and I train the girls to teach adults and children. Also, I collaborate with all stakeholders as we operate and expand the program," explained Walton.
Last year, the girls taught coding classes at a community event in Richmond Heights in the spring. They taught children, youth and adults at a Computer Science education week program in December at Tri-C Eastern Campus.