Educational Materials: January 2017, Technology

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January 2017: Technology - Coding

Lets learn about...CODING!

What is Coding?

Coding is the language behind computers. You and I speak and read using the alphabet and words to communicate. Computers have a different way to do this, and it is code! Just like humans speak different languages like English, Spanish and French, computers have different coding languages too. These include HTML, C++, Java, Python and many more. Each language uses different words, letters, numbers and symbols to create.

Code allows us to create things like websites, phone apps, and video games, as well as calculate important math allowing us to do things like launch a rocket to the moon and figure out how strong we need to make an aircraft wing. This code is written by a variety of people: computer scientists, computer engineers, website designers, application developers and more! It’s their job to shape the code to create whatever they want. Every app on your phone and website you visit was carefully crafted by coders to allow you to click on certain buttons and show you pictures and colors at different times.


Elements of Coding


One element used in the coding language HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), the standard coding language used in the design of websites, is a tag. When coding in HTML, tags are used to markup the language and are constrained inside angle brackets (ie <b>).

Tags act as commands to tell the computer how a certain area should be formatted. One example of a tag is the <Strong> tag.

The <Strong> command is used to mark the text on the page as important as well as making the text bolded.


When coded, regular text appears like this:

<p>Text that is not coded as strong appears like this.</p>

Strong text is coded like this:

<p><strong>Text that is coded as strong appears like this.</strong></p>

The results are:

Text that is not coded as strong appears like this.

Text that is coded as strong appears like this.


For Loops

Loops are used in coding to indicate to the computer when to read and perform certain parts of the code. Different types of loops all have different names, usually referring to how they work. Examples of loops include:

For Loops

While Loops

Do While Loops

For loops tell the code when to start executing that part of the written code and under what conditions to keep executing that part of the code. Different coding languages write out the loop in varying ways, but the concept remains the same.


Coding History Facts

-Hello World is a phrase often associated with coding. But why? Well, starting back in 1974 the phrase has been used to teach new coders coding languages. The coders learn how to output a phrase from their program, and in most cases this phrase in “Hello, World!”

Grace Hopper was one of the most important people in the beginning years of coding. She was also a United States Navy Rear Admiral. She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and also created the first compiler for a coding language. Compilers change what you write to commands for the computer and are very important. She now even has a yearly celebration of women in coding named after her, the Grace Hopper Celebration!

If you are interested in attending, it will be in early October this year in Orlando, FL. Visit for more info.


Coding STEM Star

Job Title(s): Tech Evangelist at Microsoft, and Founder of

Name: Sage Franch

Degree: Bachelor of Computer Science, Dalhousie University

What do you think is unique about coding that separates it from other fields?
Sage: Coding is exciting because it touches every industry. It's no longer separate from other fields, but integrated into them. To code is to speak the language of computers, to be able to control technology, to be able to build things without being limited by the laws of physics. Code powers everything, from the devices in our pockets and on our wrists, to the machines that make the non-technical products we use every day. No matter where you look, code is an integral part of our lives - learning to code unlocks the power to make an impact in any industry and build the future.
What advice would you give to young kids interested in STEM?
Sage: My best advice to young people interested in STEM is to explore it! The best way to discover your interests is to get your hands dirty in it and try it out for yourself. So find a tech club at your school, join the mathlympics, buy a chemistry kit, or try the 3D printer at your local library. The more you try, the more you'll discover, and you might just find something that you really love.

Read our full interview with Sage on our blog here!

Want to connect with Sage? Find her online on her website:

Connect with her on social media: Twitter: @theTrendyTechie Instagram: @theTrendyTechieFacebook:


Want to try coding yourself? Here are some fun places to visit

Are you a Star Wars fan? Build your own Star Wars game starting Rey and BB8!

Love Frozen? Make Snowflakes with Anna and Elsa!

Play games while writing code:

Create stories, games and animations here while learning the Scratch coding language:

Play with the Code Monster here:

Dive deeper and take some coding lessons here:


3D Printing the Items in the Box

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