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West Hempstead students crack the code

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Oscar Aguilar and Yosef Lalehzari, two sixth-grade students from the George Washington School in West Hempstead, have excelled in coding and recently mastered a platform typically aimed toward middle and high school students.

Oscar is an advanced coder for his age and has collected almost 200 badges in the coding program KidOYO. Looking for a new challenge, he requested the Arduino platform from his STELLAR teacher Dara Perlow, who borrowed a supplies kit from West Hempstead High School.

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. The circuit boards are able to read inputs and turn them into outputs, which are controlled by using the platform’s programming language and software.

Oscar taught himself the new program by studying online tutorials. His classmate Yosef took an interest in Arduino as well, so they began working on it together.

“Both Oscar and Yosef support each other’s learning and growth while using KidOYO and the Arduino Kits,” Perlow said. “They have become the masters and I have become the student.”

For Oscar and Yosef, Arduino is exciting and challenging, offering them an advanced look into the world of coding.

“I think it’s really cool that this kind of coding can be used to make things like drones and remote-control cars,” Yosef said.

“Arduino is both hardware and software,” Oscar added. “I like that I have to use my computer and the switchboard to complete the challenges.”

Both students are also members of the school’s Hackathon team, which will compete with surrounding schools virtually in April to solve a multitude of coding challenges.

“Watching them progress in this domain as an educator is both thrilling and inspirational,” Perlow said. “I can’t wait to see where this takes them.”

Courtesy West Hempstead School District; compiled by Nakeem Grant