Objective Code adapts to virtual setting

Photo+published+with+permission+from+Bardia+Safari.

Photo published with permission from Bardia Safari.

When school clubs first learned about virtual learning, many began thinking about how to reorganize and restructure. Objective Code seized the opportunity to host their very first HackNite, an event where high schoolers work collectively on a coding project. 

President Bardia Safari and board members took inspiration from other coding clubs to host a HackNite with special guest speaker Anastasia Shuba, a research and development Engineer at Broadcom, group coding projects and raffles on Friday, Sept. 4. 

“We had many officer meetings just figuring out how to provide the same quality experience to participants, while keeping our community safe with COVID,” President Bardia Safari said. “For our HackNites, we moved it online and worked with chapter leaders of ObjectiveCode all around IUSD and Oxford Academy in Cypress to figure out what we should do.”

Switching from in-person to online meetings has been a difficult transition for many clubs. Objective Code has been developing new ways to teach students coding virtually this year. The first HackNite was able to set an example of how future events and activities will occur. 

“We wanted to showcase a project that would be easy to learn for beginners but it could be customized for more advanced coders,” Vice President of Outreach Manasvini Varatharaj said. “We had to discuss several different ideas before narrowing it down to the final selection of website building with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).”

To further engage all levels of coders, Objective Code encouraged participants to join a Kahoot. This allowed attendees to socialize and provide a similar experience to what the events would have been in person. 

“At our Hacknite, we had people from Northwood, Irvine, Woodbridge, University, Portola, and Oxford Academy,” Safari said. “We definitely learned a lot from creating good experiences, building real projects and meeting others.”

The virtual setting has given clubs the advantage of increased participants.  By moving online, clubs are not limited to a 40 minute lunch period. This allows clubs like Objective Code to host longer events for more in depth lessons and activities.  

“Along with coding for fun, students can learn to code to benefit their community,” Vice President of Technology, Shrey Gupta said. “We’re excited to be rolling out a ton more virtual event ideas for both students and staff.”