ASHEVILLE, N.C., Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After attending Asheville School's app camp this summer, 14-year-old Gabriel Wong planned, designed, programmed, and launched his first app. Wong's game, "Go Switchy," has been downloaded more than 180 times from users in 12 countries.
"Go Switchy" features images of switches that pop up on the screen. The object of the game is to flip the switches before they disappear, whack-a-mole style. It features easy, normal, hard, and "insane" modes that control how long it takes the switches to disappear.
While it may seem like a simple game, the kind of app that Wong created requires a thorough understanding of app development and programming. Wong, a sophomore from the Bahamas, credits his week at app camp with introducing him to Apple's Swift programming language and the skills needed to create "Go Switchy."
Wong loves the creativity inherent in programming, and he knows that there are jobs to be had in the burgeoning field.
"I really like programming because there aren't many limitations to it," said Wong, one of 289 students attending Asheville School, a nationally acclaimed co-ed boarding school. "There is a high demand for computer science and computer engineering. It is really needed, and I think people should hop on that."
December 5-11 is Computer Science Education Week, which aims to celebrate Wong's sentiment that computer science is a fun, creative field that is highly relevant to the modern job market.
Computer Science Education Week is organized by Code.org "as a call to action to raise awareness about the need to elevate computer science education at all levels and to underscore the critical role of computing in all careers."
Asheville School is building educational programming that aims to integrate computer science throughout a variety of classes and afternoon activities to give students like Gabriel Wong the skills needed to create their own apps, software, and devices.
"Computer Science is uniquely set up to teach critical thinking skills," explained Asheville School AP Computer Science Teacher Anna Lawrence. "I'm teaching Apple's Swift programming language and I use Swift Playgrounds as interactive textbooks. Half of the screen is reading material and the other half is a visual representation of what they are learning. They do mini-exercises as they go. Then in class we can dig deeper and consider mechanics."
In addition to these courses, Director of Technology Charles Long and Director of Communications Bob Williams have teamed up to offer three technology-based afternoon activities: App Development, Robotics, and Tinkering with Technology.
In the 2016 App Development activity, students created a security app that will allow Asheville School teachers and administrators to access the school's official security procedures on their phones.
"Computer science develops your ability to make life decisions. You are constantly balancing between logic and creativity. You hit problems and have to take a step back and rethink things," Long said.
Through these courses and activities, Asheville School seeks to make computer science accessible for all students.
"Anyone can get started writing code, and it's great to see organizations like Code.org, Apple, Microsoft, and others supporting Computer Science Education Week," Williams said. "It's amazing to witness a student discover the power of coding after spending only a few hours learning about how apps are made. It's a skill that will certainly benefit our students later in life."
Contact: Bob Williams, 1-828-254-6345 ext. 4042, email@example.com
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SOURCE Asheville School