Many people think that only geniuses can learn how to program a computer, but the motto of Hour of Code is that “Anybody can learn.” I write this blog at the end of Computer Science Education Week after teaching Hour of Code sessions to over 400 students at five different Greenwich schools (and two Cub Scout troops!): Hamilton Avenue, Whitby School, Eastern Middle School, North Street School, and Julian Curtiss School.
Bringing Hour of Code to local schools has been an amazing experience. At first, many students were cautious and hesitant. By the end of class, those same students were excitedly showing off their newly coded sprites. I was constantly impressed not only by the speed of their learning, but also by their creativity and innovation in using the tools of Scratch and other tutorial programs.
Schools visited: 5 (+2 Scout Troops)
Total sessions: 27
Grade levels: 3rd through 8th
Planned for January: 6 sessions
Hour of Code is a global program designed to improve diversity in the computer sciences by inspiring students from all walks of life to try computer programming. In high school Advanced Placement computer science courses, only 22% of students are women and only 13% are people of color. These numbers decline even further through college and into the workforce. However, 43% of those who participated in Hour of Code are female and 37% are black and Hispanic students. This program has the potential to revolutionize the next generation of computer programmers.
By teaching students coding skills at a young age, we’re giving them the tools to build a better future for themselves and society. By 2020, there will be over one million unfilled jobs for computer programmers (source)! There’s never been a better time to learn about coding, and never a better place for it than Greenwich schools.
- Kate Dzikiewicz, Paul Griswold Howes Fellow