SoCal Strong: Compton teacher focuses on computer coding to teach math to students, builds confidence and creativity

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Teaching young students coding to advance math skills
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Compton teacher thinks outside the box and uses a computer coding class to help build critical thinkers who find creative solutions to problems.

COMPTON (KABC) -- Let's face it -- Math itself isn't exciting to most students in middle school. But in Compton, one teacher is thinking outside the box, using a coding class to change her students' lives, and helping to make them SoCal Strong.

Jessica Bibbs-Fox is showing kids at Kelly Elementary in Compton how smart they really are. It's thinking that will last a lifetime.

"I teach coding, but what really is that? All they are are languages to solve problems in the real world, right?" said Bibbs-Fox.

She says computer coding creates critical thinkers who find creative solutions.

"There is not one way to solve this. There are multiple ways that the puzzle can be solved," said Bibbs-Fox.

A grant from Apple is helping Kelly students in Compton, where nearly one in four residents live under the poverty line.

Eighth grade student Edward Mitchell says his grades were not so good... then came the coding class.

"Coding is like a math and brain exercise. Because when you are doing it, you have to do the math, make sure everything is right," said Mitchell.

"It makes students want to get up at 8 o'clock despite the pandemic and the troubling times that we are dealing with. It makes them want to be a part of her classroom," said Kevin Curry, Principal at Kelly Elementary.

Bibbs-Fox was born, raised and educated in Compton, and is an Apple Distinguished Educator for her transformational teaching.

"If I can impact some part of their life in a positive way then I have done my job," said Bibbs-Fox.