Hack Club Spotlight

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Hack Club Spotlight

Ryan Devine

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In the small Math Resource Center, the possibilities were endless. With the lights off and their imagination on, students were tasked with creating their very own webpage in 90 minutes. This marked the third meeting of the year for Coding Club, often referred to as “Hack Club,” which meets every Thursday after school. The club’s curriculum is best described as that of a computer science class, using programming languages to create websites and games with a wide range of features.

To me, the most important part of Hack Club is that we maintain it as a fun extracurricular instead of turning it into some sort of extra class,” said senior and Coding Club leader Renee Huang. “I want people to be able to walk away with a sense of accomplishment in what they’ve created.”

As it turns out, there is a plethora of ideas that can be created. One particular attendee created a web page that gives visitors randomly generated compliments, and another coded a page that explains the history and grammar of a language he had constructed. Other web pages featured funny videos and images of friends. For some, this was their first time coding.

The club is sponsored by Math Resource Supervisor James Mergel. Despite being crucial in helping the club get started, he is a firm believer in the hands-off approach.

“I prefer to let students run the club themselves,” said Mergel.

This is in accordance with the global coalition known as Hack Club, which consists of a large number of student-run high school coding clubs located all over the world. The students who lead the meetings at LFHS include seniors Renee Huang and Robert Hammond.

Each week, Hack Club provides unique challenges for the students to do. This creates a great place for people who lack experience but want to learn in a relaxed and fun manner.  

“The huge advantage of Hack Club is we already have challenges to tackle and they have a finite duration, so we don’t have to create our own or worry about continuity of attendees,” Mergel said.

This year, the club has seen an improvement in both content and numbers.

Although the idea of coding something like a website can be intimidating, one thing should be made clear: Anyone of any skill level is welcome to learn and have fun.

“We have had a lot of enthusiasm and success with students who have little background [in coding] producing results when they didn’t think they could. I think it’s a great way to try out coding without committing to a class or curriculum.” Mergel said.

As technology continues to dominate our lifestyle, learning to code is both a smart choice and a good time.