Year Three is Underway!

This fall marks the third year for Hayes Coding Club.  This year, Coding Club is 66 members strong.  For our fifth graders who have been with us since the beginning, we launched Coding Club 3.0 to provide an opportunity for these members to continue to grow their coding skills.  3.0 members will also be valuable in helping 2.0 members get to know their Raspberry Pi units.  Our returning coders are led by dedicated staff members Dylan Acerra, Sharon Staskus, and Dan Twardesky.

Coding Club 1.0 is for our first year members.  This year, 1.0 is working through’s new computer science fundamentals course, Course D.  This eager group of beginners is supported by a crew of parent volunteers and teacher Lisa Beisel-Linn.

Here’s to a terrific year of Hayes Coding Club!


Coding Club 2.0 Visits CSU

Coding Club 2.0 Visits CSU

This past Tuesday, the 18 members of Coding Club 2.0 visited Cleveland State University’s (CSU) Washkewicz College of Engineering. CSU welcomed us with open arms, and provided our students with an engaging educational experience.

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Our day began with breakfast. While they enjoyed bagels, pastries, and juice, students learned about various types of engineering (e.g., mechanical, electrical, civil, computer science). We then toured both the mechanical and robotics/prosthetics engineering labs, where we spoke with professors. Our coders learned about engineering projects to improve the design of drones, an engine that is designed to function continuously without maintenance for 15 years in space, and different types of prosthetics.

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Next on our agenda (yes, each student received a copy of our day’s agenda) was a campus tour. For many of our coders, this was their first visit to a university campus, and they were amazed that a single “school” could be made up of so many buildings! One student asked if colleges have principals. Others had questions about living on campus and how commuting worked.

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After our tour, our students enjoyed a lunch of salad, pizza, cookies & brownies. They then undertook an engineering challenge of their own. The coders were divided into four teams and were given a supply of straws and pipecleaners. Teams were tasked with building the tallest tower possible that would support a rubber ball. Each team was supported by a CSU engineering student. Our teams worked very hard to create their towers, communicating their ideas, sharing the work, and cheering one another on. CSU’s engineers told me that our students’ work was more impressive than that of some high school students they’ve seen!


Before leaving, our Hayes Coding Club members had the opportunity to ride a Segway! Each student also received a backpack, sunglasses, and engineering fact cards to take home. What a terrific field trip! Each and every one of our coders represented Hayes well; we were told over and over again how well behaved the students were, that they asked thoughtful questions and that they did great work during the engineering challenge. Well done, Coders!

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1.0 Members Visit Hyland Software

Our third, fourth, and fifth grade members of Coding Club 1.0 had the opportunity to visit Hyland Software’s world headquarters in Westlake.  Students participated in the Hour of Code, toured Hyland’s campus, learned about the company and careers in computer science, and were treated to a delicious pizza lunch.  Many thanks to Hyland Software for providing this terrific opportunity for our students.  Check out the videos below to tour Hyland alongside our coders, and to whiz down Hyland’s two slides, Big Red & the Silver Bullet!

Coding Relay

This week Coding Club 1.0 participants practiced coding collaboratively and debugging their code through a coding relay race.  The goal was to write code to create a simple image comprised of shaded squares.  This activity was a great reminder that coders work as part of a team, and that it’s important to check your code for bugs to ensure that it works properly when run.

Meanwhile, our Coding Club 2.0 members worked on the original games they are coding on their Raspberry Pi computers using Scratch.  Check out the Scratch page on our site for video tutorials.

Hour of Code

Happy Computer Science Education Week!  Our 1.0 members took a break from their regular coding work in‘s Course 2 to engage in the Hour of Code.  The Hour of Code is meant to give all students a taste of computer science.  Some day, one of our Coding Club members may be developing apps to use on our devices, creating video games or software that we use at work, creating spectacular special effects in Hollywood, or programming a fleet of driverless vehicles!  Check out the Hour of Code on the website.  Happy coding!

Ready for New Adventures in Coding

Coding Club is back for our second year!  This year’s club is actually two clubs in  one!  Coding Club 1.0 boasts 40 members.  These students will be introduced to coding through a course provided by  Nineteen returning members will make up our 2.0 group.  Coding Club 2.0 members will build on their skills with Raspberry Pi computers.

Not only do we have more students involved with Coding Club, we have more adults committed to our group this year as well!  Mr. Acerra and Mrs. Staskus have returned and are joined by Mrs. Hoy, Mrs. Lottig, Ms. Ryan, and Mr. Twardesky, one of the school district’s computer technicians.  Many thanks to these dedicated members of our team, and to Mrs. Powers, for her continued support of Hayes Coding Club.

Check this website regularly for Coding Club news and coding resources!

Reflections & Plans for Coding Club 2.0


Our inaugural Coding Club was a huge success!  Coders brought an abundance of enthusiasm with them into LRC each week.  We had lots of fun learning to code!  Teachers & students learned side by side.  Students took particular delight in creating games that were “impossible to win.” Thank you for sharing your children with us for the last 19 Tuesdays.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, we will be able to offer new coding experiences to returning Coding Club members next year.  We received $1,000 from Hyland Software, and raised an additional $898 through Donors Choose.  The funds raised will enable us to purchase Raspberry Pi computers and other supplies.  We will engage in new coding adventures using Raspberry Pi.  Thanks, also, to our Coordinator of Technology & Communications, for ensuring we will have the computer monitors we need to embark on this project.  Our returning Coders will make up Coding Club 2.0.

Curious to learn more about Raspberry Pi?  Check out this brief video introduction below.

Student logins on will remain active throughout the summer.  There is a link on our “Links & Forms” page.  Happy coding, and see you next year!


Algorithm for Gardening


This afternoon our coders planted our adopt-a-spot plot.  Many thanks to the generous family who purchased our flat of portulaca plants!  As coders, we began by creating an algorithm for planting our garden:

  1. Pick up the trowel and dig a small hole.
  2. Remove a plant from the plastic container.  Gently loosen the dirt from the roots.
  3. Place the plant in the hole roots-down.  Refill the hole with dirt, and pat the dirt down gently around the plant.
  4. Loop steps 1-3 32 times (there were 32 plants in our flat).
  5. Water the plants.

We followed our algorithm, with terrific results.  Below is a picture of our completed garden plot.


We look forward to watching our portulaca plants bloom!

Support Coding Club!

Hayes Coding Club has a project funding request through Donors Choose.  This project will benefit students who return to Coding Club next year.  They will have the opportunity to build upon their skills by programming Raspberry Pi computers. Use the code LIFTOFF and donations made between now and April 20, 2016 will be doubled thanks to Just enter the code LIFTOFF during checkout and you’ll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $100).  Check out our project by clicking here and help us reach our goal!