After developing a love of computer coding in high school, senior computer science major Rowan Agrawal decided that he wanted to foster that same passion in middle and high school students in Lafayette County.
As a result, he founded Code Miss in 2019, an organization where University of Mississippi computer science students local, younger students about various coding languages.
“Water Valley has something similar called Base Camp Coding Academy, but the distance makes it unavailable to most kids in Lafayette County,” Agrawal said. “We used Base Camp as a model for this organization, but we differ from them because the mentors are college students.”
Part of the reason Agrawal decided to start the organization was because he noticed Mississippi lacked in teaching coding in schools. He wanted younger kids to be able to have access to materials that could help them learn.
“This club is open to high school students or younger, but our youngest kid is in 4th grade,” Chapter president Logan Parker, a junior computer science major, said.
Parker said the organization typically rotates between teaching three topics: robotics, programming and computer hardware.
“Due to the pandemic, we are just covering programming because hardware and robotics are more hands-on learning, and therefore more transmissive,” Parker said.
Parker said the group teaches its students how to use a range of different software, some of which is used to develop popular video games.
“In the coding intense class, we have taught basic Java and recently started working with Unity, a 3D software used to develop games,” Parker said. “Many popular games across the industry are built on it, so it’s really beneficial to learn.”