Welcome to the STEM Tuesday Coding Revival & Traveling Medicine Show! Grab a great book from the STEM Tuesday Coding recommendation table, have a seat and let the power of coding revive your STEM soul. Can I get a “Hallelujah!”?
Our simple and elegant design looks at coding through fresh eyes and is inspired by the universal power of the coding embedded in our daily lives.
Coding is two-fold. We mainly associate coding with the writing of computer programs, but coding also means classifying or identifying something by assigning it a code. I like to preach coding as being the logical breakdown of a process or event. Coding is a way of thinking.
Coding, on one hand, is computer programs and video games and special effects and entertainment. The scope of computer coding reaches far and wide into almost every aspect of modern life. Alexa is Alexa because Alexa’s software codes it to be Alexa. Banks, governments, law enforcement, education, sports, etc. all increasingly rely on the power of code.
Coding also exists outside the electronic world.
Coding is biological. Coding is chemical. Coding is physical.
Coding is animal, vegetable, and mineral.
Coding spans from describing how atoms interact to how our entire universe behaves.
Now that’s truly a hallelujah thought!
If/then, hypothesis/conclusion, cause/effect are conditional statements. Thinking in code requires using conditional statement tools. Thinking within the logic of a conditional statement helps break down a process which leads to an understanding of that process.
If this happens, then that happens. If this doesn’t happen, then that happens.
A simple tool with so much power. A way to look at the world and attempt to understand it. The knowledge of the human race is built upon conditional statements. The knowledge waiting to be discovered will most certainly be found by observing if this happens, then that happens.
Simplify & design
Once one knows how something works, the process and the design, and the logic can be extrapolated to other things. Build a better building by studying the steps (coding) termites use to build a mound or the organization of chemical bonds in a crystal. One of the coolest things in molecular biology I’ve been reading about is DNA origami. Molecular scientists are using the predictive binding inherent between the nucleotide bases of the DNA genetic code to fold DNA strands into molecular tools for a wide range of processes, from drug delivery systems to micro-robots.
Better design comes from a better understanding. Better understanding comes from thinking like a coder!
Steps to Code
Watch something happen. Pay attention to what is happening and record what is seen.
(There’s an almost indefinable book first released in 1969 called, Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon. The book combines culinary science, philosophy, religion, and economy in a stream of consciousness style as the author prepares four meals for eight from one leg of lamb. The entire second chapter is about observing an onion. How it’s packaged, designed, and executed to produce a wonder of nature and of flavor. That’s next-level observation!)
B. Break down the parts.
Take the observations, place them in order.
C. Study how the parts fit and how they work.
Come up with ideas (hypothesis) of how to get from part A to part B.
Try out your idea. If it works, then move forward. If it doesn’t work, then try something different.
Iterate until you imitate.
Coding requires healthy logic muscles. Living life through a coder’s lens takes practice and discipline. The logic muscles need work. Practice daily and code your world! Observe. Observe. Observe.
Thank you for attending the STEM Tuesday Coding Revival & Traveling Medicine Show! We hope you feel the coding inspiration flowing through your veins. On your way out, don’t forget to grab your complimentary bottle of Dr. Swanson’s Patented Problem-Solving Elixir! It is guaranteed, organic, pure STEM with a touch of STEAM for added flavor.
Go out and code, my friends!
See the world through new eyes!
Mike Hays has worked hard from a young age to be a well-rounded individual. A well-rounded, equal opportunity sports enthusiasts, that is. If they keep a score, he’ll either watch it, play it, or coach it. A molecular microbiologist by day, middle-grade author, sports coach, and general good citizen by night, he blogs about sports/training related topics at www.coachhays.com and writer stuff at www.mikehaysbooks.com. Two of his science essays, The Science of Jurassic Park and Zombie Microbiology 101, are included in the Putting the Science in Fiction collection from Writer’s Digest Books. He can be found roaming around the Twitter-sphere under the guise of @coachhays64.
The O.O.L.F Files
The Out Of Left Field (O.O.L.F.) Files this month branches out into the world of coding. As I said in previous O.O.L.F. Files, all roads lead down the rabbit hole of curiosity and inquiry. Have fun sliding down your rabbit hole of curiosity and inquiry! Just remember to come back and do good work.
Bioinformatics: Where code meets biology by Daniel Bourke
Code.org® is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups. Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science as part of their core K-12 education. They also sponsor the Hour of Code event.
Best Coding Tools for Middle School from Common Sense Education
Coding in Astronomy
I never really thought much about the relationship between astronomy and coding until a few years ago. But when you think about how the immense amount of data generated by modern telescopes collecting electromagnetic wave spectrum from distant galaxies, that data needs to be organized and analyzed. Astronomy and coding. It’s a no-brainer-relationship.
- Applications of DNA Origami from Integrated DNA Technologies.
- Folding DNA into a Double Helix
- A web page from the National Institutes of Health’s National Human Genome Research Institute dedicated to DNA folding and included a downloadable DNA double helix model.