Services for Educators

STEM Contest Winners Express IDRA VisionCoders Impact

IDRA awarded prizes to three VisionCoders students who submitted entries in the program’s first reflection contest. The students shared how the program helped them do better in school and how they had helped their buddies.

  • First Place: Jaelynne Hernández, 8th Grade, Zamora Middle School, South San Antonio ISD (essay)
  • Second Place: Eleena Rábago, 8th Grade, Zamora Middle School, South San Antonio ISD (video)
  • Third Place: Paradise Anaya, 7th Grade, Dwight Middle School, South San Antonio ISD (artwork)

There submissions are below.

VisionCoders is IDRA’s eighth-grade computer science course where middle school students in at-risk situations become software designers who create educational games for younger students (their “buddies”). IDRA awarded winners with $200 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place along with commemorative certificates and trophies.


Jaelynne Hernández

First Place

8th Grade, Zamora Middle School, South San Antonio ISD

How VisionCoders Has Helped Me

My VisionCoders class has helped me as student improve my creativity and designing skills when I do important projects in other classes. It also has improved my time-management and organization skills in general.

Since joining the IDRA VisionCoders program, I have learned how to storyboard, plan, design, and create games. These skills were not only used in this classroom, I also incorporated them in my other classes. For example, when I have to make a Google Slide project for career college exploration, I outline my main idea, decorate how I want my slides to look, and review and test-run my slides to make sure the information and functions of the project are doing good and looking presentable. With these new skills I can say with 100% that I am very proud of how my projects look and the information in them.

It also has helped me in managing my time. Games take a long time to create, and we have such little time to think, storyboard, and make one, due to buddy visits. So this class has taught me how to better divide my time with each objective, and eventually this also helped in my other classes. Thanks to VisionCoders, I have been able to submit my schoolwork on time, without the doubt of it being unacceptable.

Finally, VisionCoders has been really helpful in teaching me how to be organized. Before the class, my plans would be messy, I would be confused on what to do after finishing something. Organization did not exist in my books. However, when I took this class I learned how to plan important events better, organize homeword, and study plans.

I am very grateful to VisionCoders for teaching me lifelong skills I can now use in my daily life and making me an even better student than before!


Eleena Rábago

Second Place

8th Grade, Zamora Middle School, South San Antonio ISD (video)

“IDRA VisionCoders is where you make and design games for your little buddy. You will make a lot of mistakes while taking this class. VisionCoders is truly enjoyable. I get to use my own imagination and see other people’s creativity in their games.”

Paradise-AnayaParadise Anaya

Third Place

7th Grade, Dwight Middle School, South San Antonio ISD (artwork)