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Code the hoan


Code the Hoan is a suite of STEAM education offerings that will be implemented following the
successful installation of interactive LED lights on the Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee.

Students will be guided through learning modules that will allow them to use the bridge lights as a platform to understand the technology of the lighting system and grasp key principles of coding.

“This project is about more than lights on a bridge and it is inspiring tech and coding talent because it brings coding to life in a beautiful, artistic and visible way for students and young people.”

– Michael Hostad, Co-founder of Light The Hoan

2023 SHARP Literacy – Code the Hoan Recap

Through a series of eight workshops, participants acquire fundamental knowledge in circuit coding. Utilizing Chibitronics, they craft a paper model of the Hoan Bridge featuring a parallel circuit and program electronic circuits to illuminate an LED and activate a buzzer using Arduino UNO. In their final project, participants design and execute their own captivating light and sound performance. As an additional program offering, students have the opportunity to apply their coding skills by engaging with an interactive model of the Hoan Bridge and immersing themselves in a VR experience inspired by Milwaukee, all made possible through the collaborative efforts of Light the Hoan, MSOE, and Foresight Studios.

Goals included:

  • Spark curiosity in STEAM and instill a collaborative spirit
  • Support a growth mindset
  • Support social-emotional learning (SEL)
  • Promote the desire to continue the STEAM journey into middle school.
  • Address learning loss in school-age children and increase out-of-school student engagement.


“During my time this summer teaching the Code the Hoan program I saw students thrive. One of the most gratifying aspects was how the students’ problem-solving abilities increased over the duration of the course. Each stumbling block became an opportunity for them to dissect problems, experiment with solutions and learn from their mistakes. This course not only provided them with the technical knowledge to control lights using code but also equipped them with a valuable toolkit of analytical skills that will undoubtedly serve them well in their future pursuits.”

Said Liam Ryan, SHARP Literacy Educator

The most remarkable transformation was the students showing a passion for computer science. Their faces would light up with excitement as they saw the Arduino Uno respond to their coded instructions, and this spark ignited a genuine interest in the field. Their questions and discussions expanded beyond the classroom, reflecting a deeper curiosity that extended into their daily lives. It became evident that the “Code the Hoan” course had not only imparted technical skills but also instilled a lasting inspiration, paving the way for these middle schoolers to consider a future in the dynamic realm of computer science.”

Performance Data

Summer 2023: 3 sites, approximately 40 participants

Sites: Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, Augustine Prep, Notre Dame School of Milwaukee, and Neighborhood House

Total Participants from 2022-2023 – Approx. 70

  • On a scale from 1-10, how interesting did you find this program: 75% of participants responded with a score of 7 or higher
  • 84% of participants said they would be willing to take on a project themselves after participating in the program.
  • 100% of participants reported improving skills in the areas of problem-solving and creativity.
  • 87% of participants expressed interest in participating in future programs
  • 63% is the average score on the multiple-choice assessment
  • Pre-Assessment Score was 41% and Post was 64%, an increase of 56%



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