Debug that Code!

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Problem Solving with the Codelicious Curriculum

When asked about their experience taking Codelicious’s Graphic Design 108: Introduction to Video Game Development, many students in MSD Pike Township mentioned the infamous “red bar”. Frequently, when students made mistakes in their code, a thick red line appeared over the errors. This prompted many students to embark on a mission to debug their code. 

This mission was two pronged: first, students needed to find the error that was causing their code to break. Second, they needed to destroy the bug and make adjustments to their code until it worked. This process led many students to learn new things about approaching challenging issues and critical thinking. Keep reading to hear what four students (Max, A’Siah, Nyla, and Roman) learned about problem solving by taking this course.

Facing Challenges with Confidence

Students undoubtedly face challenges in the classroom. Codelicious’s project-based curriculum develops critical thinking and problem solving skills that help students surmount these challenges. Graphic Design 108: Introduction to Video Game Development was no exception. Max, an incoming 6th grader, recounted his story when he found bugs in his code:

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“There was one time I mis-typed ‘self’ into ‘slef’. I couldn't find it so I needed to figure out where that was,” Max said. When asked how he felt when he found the bug, Max exclaimed, “Finally, it’s about time! When you figure out that error that's been destroying everything you try to do, and you finally get it fixed, it feels great.” 

Two other students, A’Siah and Nyla had similar experiences. When A’Siah fixed the bug in her code, she said, “It made me feel like I discovered a country.” When Nyla debugged her game, she said, “I learned not to give up on stuff.” 

In this way, the Codelicious Curriculum builds confidence and encourages students to overcome adversity. These skills can be applied both in the classroom and beyond, whether students are pursuing higher education or careers that involve technology. 

Student Takeaways

Upon completion of the course, the students agreed that they enjoyed the class and would recommend it to their peers. “A lot of my friends play video games, but have they actually looked into how they make the video games?” Roman, a 6th grade student, pointed out. He said that this class was a great opportunity to learn how to make them.

This course was a great way to introduce students to computer science fundamentals using video games as a foundation. “It’s not quite as hard as I thought,” Brayden reflected. “It is very difficult, but it’s also very fun. It’s fun to figure out what I did wrong and learning how to fix the problem.” Overall, the students increased their problem solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and content knowledge by completing fun and engaging activities. And isn’t that the goal of every educator and administrator?