In China, every student takes computer science to graduate high school. In the U.S., 90 percent of schools don’t even teach it. It’s time for us to catch up to the 21st century.
We know that, regardless of what our students do when they grow up, whether they go into medicine, business, politics, or the arts, knowing how to build technology will give them the confidence and know-how to succeed.
The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. It is a nationwide one-hour activity during the week of Dec. 7-11. Students of all ages can choose from a variety of self-guided tutorials with the purpose of getting all students excited about coding.
Tutorials work on any modern browser, tablet, smartphone, or even with no computer at all. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to make coding easier to understand and show that anybody can learn the basics.
During the week of Dec. 7, St. Mary students in grades 6-8 participated in one Hour of Code tutorials choosing from the following: Star Wars, Minecraft, Frozen, or Angry Birds, all created by code.org.
St. Mary sixth grader Elizabeth Daugherty said she was so inspired by her trials at school with Minecraft that she went home and gave other tutorials a try. She states, “I liked trying to plan the movements and would work on it again.”
Throughout the rest of the year, St. Mary School will continue to periodically work on different coding programs including grades 3-5. You can check out this program here.
This event is a chance for all of us to see what computer science is about. We hope it’ll spark interest in students to keep learning. Research also shows that kids pick up programming concepts before they know how to read and write. In fact, their brains are more receptive to computer languages at a young age, just like foreign languages.
“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. The demand for relevant 21st century computer science education crosses all borders and knows no boundaries.”