Local Students Learn Valuable Computer Science Skills with "Hour of Code"
By Lisa Murphy
December 7 – 13 is Computer Science Education Week and in this week, classrooms all over the world participate in the Hour of Code. What is the Hour of Code? The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify coding and show that anybody can learn the basics. Hour of Code is organized internationally by Code.org, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Locally, Code.org counts on their partnering organizations to help spread the word about the free resources they provide for classrooms.
Digital Deployment, headed by CEO Mac Clemmens, is one organization locally that volunteers to help local schools organize #HourofCode events each year. This year on Tuesday, December 8, Mac and his team went to Florin High School to teach hundreds of students how to code – a skill that is so vital in today’s job market.
Said Clemmens, “they’re getting a taste of computer programming….we want lots of students, particularly the ones that are underserved and haven’t gotten exposure to programming, to get a taste and see if it’s something they could use.” He continued, “if we can get more computer scientists, great, but it’s not limited to computer science. Just like you don’t have to be an English major, to use the English language, you don’t have to be a computer scientist to use programming. It’s in every field and every profession.”
The feedback from students who participated in Tuesday’s Hour of Code at Florin High School was promising.
“I think it’s really fun. You get to experiment with games and make it do what you want it to do,” said student Stephanie Lara-Saucedo.
“I think hour of code is a great way to teach people the easy ways of coding before they get into the more complicated ways of coding,” said Emely Latorre.
Hour of Code’s tutorials are available in 40 languages and have already been used by over 100 million learners in 180 countries. According to Hour of Code’s website, generally only 18 percent of computer science classes are female and only 8 percent are black or Hispanic. Almost half of the Hour of Code participants are female and 35% are black or Hispanic. Sometimes this jump start is all underserved communities need to inspire them to continue to pursue an education in computer science, setting the foundation for a brighter future.
To learn more about Hour of Code, visit their website at: HourofCode.com.
To learn more about Digital Deployment, and their services locally, visit: digitaldeployment.com.