I've always considered myself well versed in most areas of science. I have to admit however, computer science has never been my forte. I've had the opportunity over the past few weeks to assist in youth coding classes, and my shortcomings have led to a few takeaways that I've found valuable when teaching:
1. I'm Not as Smart as I Thought
I've had instances where I've looked at what's supposed to be a simple beginners set of code and felt more like Lil Uzi Vert vs. Neil deGrasse Tyson in a game of Astro analysis. This learning curve has allowed me to explain and problem solve alongside the students in a more creative and unique way. I've been able to walk them step by step through my frame of thinking, discover roundabout methods of problem solving, and make them feel okay with failing & trying over again.
2. Coding is a Science
Yes, that stereotypical "nerd" hunched over his/her computer creating your favorite app or video game....is a scientist. Seeing me in my white labcoat, I've reiterated to students that scientists aren't just relegated to laboratories and chemical experiments. Coding lays out the pathway to revealing new discoveries, making life simpler, and solving problems, which are all part of the basis of science.