This week, students in grades Kindergarten through sixth grade participated in the Hour of Code during National Computer Science Week. This global computer science initiative creates a fun and creative environment for students to be introduced to the concepts of computer programming.
“We hope Hour of Code will raise the bar by inspiring students to discover new ways of thinking through technology,” shared Alisha Preheim, Dean of Elementary. “We want our students to be ready for the schooling and careers that will be available to them. The career field for computer programmers is wide open and constantly growing, and the need for Christians in this field is important.”
What initially began as a one-hour introduction to computer science to shed some light on coding has turned into a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science and show learners of all ages that coding is accessible and even enjoyable.
“The Hour of Code is designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket science – anybody can learn the basics,” said Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of Code.org. “Over 100 million students worldwide have tried an Hour of Code.”
Each SCCS elementary teacher customized how their class participated in Hour of Code. Classes used coding programs or apps on the iPad, learned in the computer lab, and downloaded hands-on projects to accomplish a variety of coding activities.
“Second grade teamed up and spent our Hour of Code learning about block coding,” shared second grade teacher Hadiya Jackson. “This included instruction on how to develop programs that respond to timed events and user input. We paired off our students and had them create an animation dance party with code.”
Several classes used Kodable, a program that allows them to choose different directions to get to the end of various mazes.
“We went on the hourofcode.com website and students chose from all kinds of activities to try different games that incorporate coding,” explained Melissa Calderon, fourth grade teacher. “The favorite choice was Dance Party, in which they used block coding to create dance movements to music for different animals.”
The study of computer science has an application that is broader than technology as it encourages problem-solving skills, logical thinking, and creativity. This one-hour focus on computer coding can spark an interest in a student, or even a teacher, that can last and grow over a lifetime.
“In this changing world, computer literacy is becoming an increasingly important part of society,” continued Alisha. “There are so many ways to express creativity and develop critical thinking skills using this tool and technology. Anyone can learn to code and now our students know that, too!”