Maria is a freshman at UC Berkeley who is passionate about coding education, particularly giving young girls a start. With Breakout Mentors she puts her years of Scratch experience to use, continuing to challenge our students at the perfect pace for months and years!
When did you start to code?
I started coding my freshman year of high school. The business class I signed up for was all full and I decided to try out computer science on a whim. It definitely was a rocky start and I didn’t understand anything, but with the help of my teachers and some very friendly classmates, I started to get the hang of it. I am so thankful for all of the resources at my high school and in my community that helped me fall in love with computer science and eventually led me to study computer science here at Cal!
What is your favorite game or project you have created with a student?
My favorite project I created with a student is a remake of Angry Birds on Scratch. My student and I both grew up playing that game and it was very rewarding seeing our game evolve from nothing. We put our own little touches on it and in my opinion, it’s even more fun than the normal game!
What advice do you have for kids learning how to code?
My best advice for kids learning to code is don’t be afraid to make mistakes or get stumped. Coding is all about trial and error and it is completely okay to not get it on your first try! The most important part about learning is knowing how to fix your errors and if you do get stuck, it is never a bad thing to ask a friend. Computer science is collaborative and projects are always more fun with a team!