Code Immersion for High School Students

IMG_0777Over three consecutive days, high school students within the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and the Shad Valley Dalhousie program attended coding workshops within ShiftKey Labs.

On Tuesday, HRM students, current post-secondary students, and coding professionals learned how to fix programming errors in the popular Minesweeper strategy game. Students were handed a master list of errors that included a description of the error and in which file to find it. For each programming problem they solved, students earned JavaScript “badges” and a prize was given to the student who earned the most badges.

IMG_0784After an intense round of debugging, participants were challenged to a minesweeper tournament. Prizes were awarded to the person who could solve the puzzle in the shortest amount of time.

One student got lucky and was able to solve the puzzle on “easy” mode in 0.9 seconds (although he claimed it was pure skill)!

On Wednesday, 10 Shad Dal students participated in a 2.5 hour Introduction to WordPress workshop. After learning a little bit about the platform, students spent time creating their own blogs focused on one of their personal interests or a project they were working on through their month-long residency in the Shad program.


One of the students developed a site to showcase their Shad project called “Planta” that focuses on creating a “fun, educational gardening kit for kids”.

Thursday’s workshop was a rerun of the minesweeper tutorial for all 55 students participating in the Shad Dal program. The room was packed with students and energy! One of the exceptional students solved all 5 programming errors and the bonus challenge in a record-breaking 20 minutes! Looks like he has a promising coding career in front of him 🙂

It was an absolute treat to host these workshops for these enthusiastic, vibrant groups of students. The feedback at each session was that everyone learned something new about coding and had fun doing it. Hopefully, I get to see some of these students again as incoming Computer Science students at Dalhousie.