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Las Vegas high school club breaks stigma around computer coding

By Brian Loftus,


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas high school coding club is breaking boundaries and shattering stereotypes by having kids get out of their comfort zones.

“If you can give someone direction on how to get to your house, or how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you can tell a computer what to do,” computer science teacher, Tina Faye said.

It is a club at Sierra Vista High School called “Girls Who Code” whose members are on a mission.

“Get rid of any preconceived ideas they might have about what coders look like, or how hard computer science is,” Faye said. “It’s enough to lift a family up and out of poverty if they get a computer science job.”

The goal is to break boundaries including stereotypes, the gender gap in technology, and socioeconomic status.

“The goal today is to really expand computer science and try and break boundaries,” sophomore, Jade Hawkins said.

The Girls Who Code do something called “game changer” which is when they teach coding to non-coders, like players on the football or wrestling teams. The girls want to show these athletes that moment in coding where they just get it.

“My little brother could do this! It’s pretty simple,” Hawkins said.

“They might have the woohoo! They do it when they understand something, they can’t help it. Their hands go up and they get really excited,” Faye said.

After coding, the athletes return the favor and teach the girls about their sport or program.

“I think it’s actually pretty nice because as athletes we can probably do something for them. We can show them something athletic, they can show us something that they know. I think it’s very useful for us too,” sophomore, Salvador Olmos said.

This is an area of education in Nevada where kids are thriving.

“Nevada is leading the forefront, I guess, of computer science and education,” Faye said. “We wrote the standard for our state before anybody else did about what things kids should learn.”

According to Faye, the club is trying to get kids ready not only for a job for when they are done with school but also for the currently available jobs.

“I would love to go into something in robotics so I’m able to program computers and robotics, I would like to do,” Hawkins told 8 News Now.

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