The Observatory

by Codeverse

Q&A with Rose Coughlen, Director of Programming at Codeverse


5 min read

As Director of Programming, Rose is responsible for owning the studio experience, from start to finish. This includes everything from customer experience, to student outcomes and assessment, to curriculum refinement, to studio team training. Today, we sat down with Rose to discuss her background in STE(A)M, her love for the Codeverse mission, and what inspires her.

Tell us more about you and your background!

I am originally from Minnesota and have a deep love for the wild outdoors. When I'm not working, I'm usually backpacking a trail or canoeing a river! Growing up I always loved tech. Sci-fi movies are the bomb, and I would have asked for a lightsaber for my birthday if they were real. Instead I asked for a TI-89 calculator, engraved my name on the back, and carried that thing everywhere. I went off to study physics in college, and got my masters degree in particle physics from the South Dakota School of Mines & Tech researching Dark Matter. After school, I taught physics courses at Winona State University in MN.

My two biggest passions are STEM & childhood education so next I decided to move to Chicago and started working with the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago, writing their STEM programs for young girls. It is AWESOME that kids have so many opportunities to explore tech and engineering, and being a part of making that happen is what keeps me going every day. Now, working for Codeverse, I get to direct how our studio programs are run to maximize the fun & learning!

What excites you the most about your role as Director of Programming?

I am so excited to create an overall magical program for kids. Codeverse is unlike any other way to learn how to code - it is like stepping into another universe where anything is possible. As the Director of Programming, I get to channel my inner kid again to make our program a unique experience where kids can have fun while learning real life skills!

When did you first learn how to code and how has it impacted your life?

I didn't learn how to code until I was in college pursuing a degree in physics, when I had to teach myself C++, Python and Java. I wish there had been something like Codeverse when I was young! Getting a head start on learning coding languages would have given me such an edge in my schooling, because I ended up using coding all the time. I got to use coding to write programs that collect and analyze data for an experiment searching for Dark Matter, a mysterious particle that physicists are still searching for today! It is so amazing what coding allowed me to do as I was researching. Now that I am no longer a physicist, I still use the skills I learned from coding like problem solving, organization, and creativity in my everyday life.

Why do you believe that every child should learn to code?

Coding is so much more than just making games and apps. You can use the skills that you learn from coding in almost any part of your life. Problem solving, creativity, persistence, the list goes on! All of these skills are important for kids to learn, and our future is moving more and more towards tech every day. Learning to code gives kids the power to use the tech around them to make real change in the world.

Who (or what) inspires you, Rose?

The KIDS! I am so inspired by the excitement and energy that kids naturally bring into our studio each day. It is so fun to be able to encourage their creativity, because with the right skills these kids can really change the world! They are our future, and being able to give them the experiences they need to succeed inspires me every day.