Leeward teachers learn to code robotic driverless cars

Leeward teachers learn to code robotic driverless cars
Published: Jul. 19, 2017 at 8:31 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 19, 2017 at 9:57 PM HST
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WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some Nanakuli and Waianae complex area teachers are back in school this week learning how to code driverless robotic cars. It's a first of its kind program that could end up as part of the curriculum.

The six-day class is at Waianae Intermediate. On this day, teachers are learning to program their cars to drive into a mini garage, sense the light, back up out of the garage and then give out the light reading.

"It's a lot of fun when it works and it's frustrating when it doesn't," said Terri Holck.

She's part of a group of Leeward teachers using code to program robotic cars for future learning in the classroom. Some teachers in the Castle complex just completed the course.

"We are hoping to develop curriculum that ties the coding with the car in to what teachers are already teaching whether it be social studies, language arts, music, art, whatever," said Holck.

Oceanit engineer, Sumil Thapa, teaches the coding course and says coding will be and says his company was inspired by South Korea which made coding mandatory for all students starting next year.

"We work with business partners in Korea and they told us they would be implementing this so we thought it would be a great idea to bring to Hawaii," said Thapa.

A couple of students are in the class as teachers' aides.

"It's interesting getting a whole new perspective because as a student, teachers are always trying to help me, but in this scenario, I'm helping the teachers," said Dayevin Bunao, a Kamehameha junior-to-be.

These teachers are learning the basics of coding. It's the same language used to program real-life driverless cars of the near future and will be a part of our every day lives. For now, these teachers are still working out some technical kinks in their cars.

"Let's just say that I don't think any insurance company would give us insurance for our cars," joked Thapa.

After the success of this class, Oceanit hopes to teach coding to a thousand teachers in the future.

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