It is an early morning, chilly and overcast, just like most days this time of year here on the west coast of Sweden. Inside the large brick school building, the corridors are empty; most students have yet to arrive. When I reach the classroom, I can see a small group of kids standing outside, waiting. These few students will be the ones that throughout the following weeks will get to learn something that is not part of their standard curriculum: They are going to to learn the art of computer programming.
The kids all have different backgrounds. Some have already tried coding a bit on their own, while for others, the concept of programming is completely new. What they have in common is that they are all 6th graders at Håstensskolan, an elementary school in Varberg. Varberg is also the location of Procera Networks largest R&D office, and that is where I come in.
A couple of weeks ago, I started teaching these students computer programming once per week and will continue the classes until May. Procera's ambition with this project is to increase the interest in computer programming and help students realize the many career options available in the technology industry.
My own reason for participating is to share one of my passions in life. Knowing how to code has led me to many moments of both joy and pride (in addition to many hours of sleep lost in the dim light of a computer monitor). It is a skill that has gone from being my hobby to being my profession. It is with great excitement that I have accepted the challenge to teach these students some of the things that I know and am passionate about.
My primary goal is for the kids to have fun and to see a different side of science and engineering than the one that is taught at school. If I happen to ignite that same passion in some of them, that once was ignited in me long ago; all the better.
Stay tuned for more posts on my adventures in teaching the students of Håstensskolan!