Clark Avenue students create their own video games as part of new coding club – Chelsea Record

For the past school year, the world’s future computer coders and video game developers were in the eighth-grade computer coding club at Clark Avenue Middle School.

During a difficult school year for many students, eighth graders from Matthew LaBranche’s coding club in middle school went the extra mile, learning to code in javascript with several students creating and coding their own video games.

Pictured (left to right) Izaiah Martinez, M. Matthew Labranche, Jonathan Espana Lopez, Latisha Rivera, Ariana Guerrero, Hillary Zambon, Catherine Ramos, Allison Romero, Justin Aguilar Arteaga and Kimberly Ramirez. Bottom (left to right) Emeralys Burgos, Natali Sanches, Manuel Contreras, Cory Pleitez-Castaneda, Kyson Gray Jose and Jasmin Martinez. Missing from the photo: Juliana Arevalo, Roger Martinez Canelas, Josue Rivera Santos, Jasmine Rivera and Josue Rivera.

One of the many impressive aspects of the club is the number of girls who have participated. Of the seven students who managed to create their own video games, six were girls.

LaBranche said that’s a positive sign in a field and industry that’s typically male-dominated.

“Every business in the future will have something to do with computing and coding,” LaBranche said. “Coding is a very important topic to discuss and a very good skill to understand.”

Among the students who participated and created their own video games this year was Allison Romero, who was honored as Clark Avenue Middle School’s student of the year at a recent school committee meeting.

In her video game, Ducky AbDuckter, the player must collect rubber duckies while avoiding flying hatchets.

“It’s a massive amount of code she had to learn from day one,” LaBranche said. And it’s not just about learning the code, he added, but if a line of code contains an error, it goes back to the game’s drawing board.

Of course, seeing an eighth grader go through so many lines of code and create their own video game might raise suspicion, but LaBranche said that’s not the case.

“(Allison’s) mom was suspicious and thought I helped her with the code, that’s always the thing, how much the teacher did, and I didn’t want that,” he said. . “But she had done it all herself, and that’s probably the biggest compliment you can get when someone suspects you did all the code.”

Other students who have created successful games over the past year are Hillary Zambon and Catherine Ramos with Popping Bubble, Jasmine Martinez and Kyson Jose with Asteroid Destroyer, and Ariana Guerrrero and Latisha Rivera with Flying Kitty.

While the students end up with some pretty awesome games with multiple moving parts, sounds, and backgrounds at the end, Martinez and the other students said it all starts with learning to code shapes and colors and relying on that.

Martinez added that aside from learning how to make a video game, coding helps in all grades because of the need for focus and engagement.

As the students enter high school next year, LaBranche said he hopes to continue the coding club next year, perhaps with the help of some of the students who will return to help with the student group. eighth grade next year.

“What I want to do next year is teach Python,” LaBranche said. “Python is the most popular program in the world, so young people really should learn it if they consider it a vocation, they are guaranteed a job. It’s amazing the number of opportunities available to us. If you know this code very well, if you know it thoroughly, you enter directly into a job.


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