Computer Science Club Creates Engaging Learning Environment for Students

As the world advances towards better technology, the Marriotts Ridge Computer Science Club (MRHS CSClub) is advancing the careers of several programmers, helping them learn about the ins and outs of coding.
In order to improve and push themselves to the limits, the MRHS CSClub’s members often participate in competitions and club activities. One such activity is the Advent of Code.
“The Advent of Code is a 25 day Advent Calendar that runs throughout the month of December. The club leaders will organize a club wide competition with different levels of difficulty so that new programmers can also participate. Every day, a new puzzle will be released for members to solve, and there will be a club wide leaderboard. At the end of the competition, winners will receive prizes,” Havish Netla said, a junior. This task helps coders of all levels learn, as it has specific puzzles for beginners and other puzzles for more experienced programmers.
Whether it be a two-day long Hackathon, a month-long project, or something else, the Computer Science Club always supports its members.
“The Computer Science Club supports their members by answering their questions about coding. The club encourages the members by advertising coding contests and other coding opportunities,” Abel Tatek said, a freshman. There are also classes for JavaScript, taught by the senior club mentors who have had major experience in computer programming. They are planning to hold classes for other languages if members show enough interest.
These programmers have specific interests and goals in mind that they are working towards, every day.
“Coding allows me to understand what is going on when I use the internet or certain apps,” Corey Wang, a junior, said. The Internet is created with HTML5 and CSS code, the brains behind everyday webpages, such as Amazon or the Google search engine, and club members are creating even better ones from scratch. Apps can be created using anything from the popular Python language to Apple-specific languages such as Swift, most of which are available for members to use!
Others are interested in more unexplored technology, testing the waters of new technologies and revolutionizing machines.
“You can do so much with programming like creating websites, automating mundane tasks, and more complex things like Machine Learning,” Netla said. Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence, coding a program or device to use past experiences in order to improve. Humans learn through experience over multiple years, but computers can simulate that in just hours! The Google image search and translation tools use sophisticated machine learning, allowing the computer to see, listen and speak in much the same way as humans do. Python, Java, and variations of C are the most common coding languages used to do this. Machine learning is one of the most promising fields of computer science, as it could open up a new world of possibilities. Computers built with machine learning will become more advanced and more practical than ever before.
Other members are exploring the field, trying to find what they like and what they want to accomplish. “The aspect of coding that I am interested in is competitive programming,” Tatek said. “This is because I don’t know which specific field of computer science interests me, and it’s fun to learn new things about a language and algorithms, and then implement them into problems.”
Competitive programming includes events such as the previously mentioned Hackathons and Advent of Code, but also includes programming apps from scratch. Many early coders start with block coding on Scratch or, where they build apps and games such as Flappy Bird. One of these contests is the Congressional App Challenge, where applicants create an app with no limits whatsoever. Students are free to use whatever coding language and create whatever app they want, working in a sandbox of coding. The results and winners will be released soon before the end of the year!
Whether it be doing competitions, working towards new software, or just learning new languages, the Marriotts Ridge Computer Science Club is helping their members walk the trail to success.