Wildcat Coders welcomes tech savvy students

“The overall goal is to try to increase students interested in Computer Science.  It is also to allow students to understand that there is more to Computer Science than just computer programming." Wildcat Coder sponsor Kevin Clevenger

Emmalee Haag

During Wildcat Hour, student coders can be found in room 312 developing desktop applications, mobile apps, and websites and working on various computer science project. Unlike other clubs that meet to discuss and interact during WCH, the Wildcat Coders work in separate groups on individual projects.

“I’m the leader of my group, so I usually talk with Mr. Clevenger to see what we need to do. From there I research or have my team members brainstorm with me,” sophomore Truman Smith said.

Every Tuesday, students work on various projects of their choice throughout computer science teacher and club sponsor Kevin Clevenger’s classroom computer lab. Getting to choose their own projects is certainly one of the main draws of the club, but their work flow doesn’t always move along smoothly. 

“I have worked on making Minecraft mods. I enjoyed it until the school filter blocked it. It was fun to learn Java and try to learn a new language,” Smith said.

The large project that the students set as a goal for this school year is to build a raspberry pi tabletop arcade system. It is going to be a gaming system where you can play games from many different systems.

“We are currently making a demo build, so that anyone who wants to make their own will know how much it will cost. We have been mostly researching what to buy, and next week we will start experimenting with the raspberry pie,” Smith said.

Two years ago, Clevenger and a few students decided they wanted to get more students involved in Computer Science and give those interested an opportunity to work on projects of their choice outside of assigned class projects. Wildcat Coders Club allows the students to explore any aspect of computer science they choose. 

“The overall goal is to try to increase students interested in Computer Science.  It is also to allow students to understand that there is more to Computer Science than just computer programming,” Clevenger said.

Wildcat Coders is not limited to only those in a coding/computer science class. All students are welcomed and encouraged to give coding a try. Involved students noted that they coding is a fun way to learn and interact.

“It’s a good way to connect to people that are interested in coding. People share what they make, and (they) can help you with your own code. Generally it’s a fun place to hang out and make something. It has taught me leadership and communication skills. I have learned how to code a little bit in Java,” Smith said.