Professor Brings Computer Coding to Elementary School Classrooms

Yune Tran

Last fall education professor Yune Tran launched an innovative program in which George Fox students teach local third-graders computer coding. A little more than a year later, the groundbreaking concept has continued to grow, resulting in attention from both local and national media like KATU News and The Huffington Post.

Tran was inspired to initiate the program by observing her own daughters, ages 6 and 7, who were often bored with routine schoolwork. So, she and her husband introduced them to a challenging computer coding curriculum at home.

After seeing her daughters develop a passion for coding, she decided to take it a step further by introducing the idea to local elementary schools. Ewing Young and Mabel Rush in Newberg both agreed to take on the project, allowing George Fox student-teachers and computer science majors into third-grade classrooms in the fall of 2014 to teach youngsters the basics of coding.

Today, the program has blossomed to include 15 classrooms in five schools, earning a visit in November from a KATU camera crew and a Q&A feature in The Huffington Post. For Tran, the impetus is twofold: to provide her student-teachers experience while also exposing young children to a discipline that is often overlooked and, for most, not even presented as a viable career path until high school or college. She is seeking a major grant to help fund the project, and would ultimately like to see the program expand into the greater Portland area.

Read more about this story in The Newberg Graphic.