Elementary Cyber Students Virtually Learn Computer Science Basics to Build Developmental Skills, Employment Edge

Reach Cyber Charter School introduces coding camp to youngsters


HARRISBURG, Pa. (January 23, 2018) – Within the United States, schools are encouraging students to master multiple languages, especially between the vital early learning ages of three and eight. This multiliteracy investment in future leaders can ultimately set them up to pursue post-secondary studies, and their dreams, with an advantage over their peers.

But what if instead of a second language – like Spanish, French or German – students learned a computer’s dialect?

Just like students learning another language, computer programming skills acquired during early brain development can give learners an upper hand in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This upper hand can follow throughout students’ academic careers, and potentially during their careers as working adults too.

According to a report from the Unites States Department of Commerce, employment in STEM occupations grew much faster than employment in non-STEM occupations over the last decade (24.4 percent versus 4.0 percent, respectively), and STEM occupations are projected to grow by 8.9 percent from 2014 to 2024, compared to 6.4 percent growth for non- STEM occupations.

In addition to STEM skills, kids are also developing problem-solving, critical-thinking and analytical skills. By the time they graduate high school, they have a leg up on other college students as they enter their university or college.

Kari Shaffer, a 4th grade teacher at Reach Cyber Charter School, is leading the charge in Pennsylvania by helping her elementary students become the computer programmers of tomorrow. Reach Cyber Charter School, a full-time, tuition-free, public cyber charter school serving students in grades K-11 throughout Pennsylvania, now offers its youngest students problem-solving and critical-thinking skills through a weekly computer coding camp.

"Coding is such an important life skill for students to learn and participate in,” said Shaffer. “Especially in this day and age, exposure to coding right from the start will set students up for success in their future endeavors. Not only will they learn skills that will assist them in professional careers someday, but coding and computer science helps students to build resilience, creativity, a Growth mindset, and so much more!"

Reach Cyber’s coding camp is offered virtually to students in 3rd through 6th grade every Friday in Shaffer’s LiveLesson® online classroom. Shaffer welcomes a minimum 50 students into the coding camp virtual room, a place where all students get to share, learn and participate equally. Each coding camp includes an opportunity for students to showcase current coding projects, learn coding-related vocabulary, and learn new code (such as a forever loop or movement block) to apply to future projects. Students use Scratch, a program with interactive stories, games, and animations, to build their projects.

Reach Cyber’s educators believe clubs and camps are critical for the development of their students and integrate these interactive learning opportunities during school days and hours. In addition to coding camp, Reach Cyber also offers several day camps including League of Legends Day Camp (grades 8-11), LEGO Simple Machines camp (grades 1- 5), Stream Study Day Camp (all grade levels), and 3-D Printing Camp (grades 6-11).

About Reach Cyber Charter School
Reach Cyber Charter School is Pennsylvania’s newest statewide, tuition-free, online public charter school for students in grades K-11. Reach Cyber, a Pennsylvania Connections Academy, provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere there is an Internet connection and with an innovative online school curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of certified Pennsylvania-based teachers, an award-winning curriculum, engaging electives, technology tools, and social experiences provides a supportive online learning opportunity for students who want an individualized approach to education. Reach Cyber incorporates 21st century learning and STEM-enrichment opportunities, as well as offers flexible pacing options that allow all students to choose attendance based on a traditional calendar option, year-round option, or for high school students, an accelerated schedule. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit www.ReachCyberCharter.com.

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