Coding — and cultural exchange — bring students from different worlds together

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On the Kamehameha Schools Kapalama campus, five students from South Korea are sharing what they know about coding with elementary and middle school students.

"It was a really good experience having them come here and teaching us how to code," said Daniel Ah Hee, a Kamehameha eighth grader.

Back Jong Kwi, 15, speaks some English, but found the language of coding to be universal.

"Everybody is very smart. They can understand my speaking. I'm so happy and I was very surprised," he said.

The students have been programming robotic Altino cars to go in circles and eventually play music like, "Hawaii Pono'i."

Kamehameha students started singing as soon as they heard the music.

In South Korea, coding became mandatory in schools this year and Hawaii tech firm Oceanit hopes to expose all Hawaii teachers and students to this type of computer science. So far, they've gone from teacher training sessions to inmate courses in prison and now this high tech student exchange.

"To see them actually teach, it really shows you what is possible for young people so we want to do that for Hawaii's young people through their teachers," said Ian Kitajima, of Oceanit.

Added Frank Kimitch, robotics teacher at Kamehameha Schools, "It's all around us. It's every where. Everything is connected."

Teachers say coding is preparing students for their future and they hope this unique international exchange happens again.

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