The community is invited to Socorro Codes’ first major Christmas light show at the Socorro Plaza at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec.2.
Viewers can expect a dazzling light show synced to joyful holiday music, a hot chocolate fundraiser for Socorro High School and a chance to meet the students who are part of the Socorro Codes after school program.
“Our show uses the custom hardware and software that were built and modified by our team,” Cody Johnston said. “We will have speakers on the plaza playing music that night. Then following the launch, the music will be played over FM.”
Cody Johnston is the Computer Science outreach instructor of the NMT office of STEM Outreach; he has been promoting and supporting after-school youth programs that teach kids about computer science. STORM FORCE, the program run by NMT STEM Outreach, is a community partnership whose mission is to inspire and empower Socorro County residents by promoting mentoring, skills in STEAM, and a culture of lifelong learning.
The Socorro Codes is an afterschool program hosted by Saracino Middle School and is open to any middle school aged student in the Socorro area that wants to participate, regardless of their school.
“While coding is often at the center of our lessons and our name, the main focus is really about teaching the fundamentals of computer science, often without computers, and about computational thinking,” Johnston said.
For Johnston, understanding these concepts are important as the modern world is increasingly influenced more by computers.
“As students learn to think computationally, they will better understand computers and how they work, as well as be able to solve complex real-world problems. I had an amazing computer science teacher and want to ensure that every student has the chance to receive the support, community, and education that I was lucky enough to get,” Johnston said.
Johnston believes that even if the students don’t continue their computer science studies at a post-secondary level, or as a career, the exposure to computer science can have a lasting impact on students’ problem-solving, real-world skills and overall education.
“I’m so glad to have support from the community and am thankful for the major donations from MIT Lincoln Labs at White Sands, City of Socorro Recreation, and NMT STEM Outreach.” Johnston said.
For more information on Socorro Codes please visit their website: socorrocodes.org