CS education accelerates with Hour of Code events

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

ECEP Partner States contributed to many events celebrating computing education as part of the annual Computer Science Education Week, held December 9-15th. This year, the Hour of Code tutorials made participation accessible and engaging. In total, almost five million students from 168 countries took part in the Hour of Code. See http://csedweek.org/events for event listings. A rundown of national happenings by Mark Guzdial is featured on CACM's blog

Check out the following highlights of activities organized by ECEP in Partner States:

CALIFORNIA
Local and state lawmakers gathered alongside industry leaders from Microsoft, Apple, Google, and other technology companies to launch Computer Science Education Week in Los Angeles at the UCLA Community School on December 10th. UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and nonprofit Code.org collectively organized an Hour of Code event to support K-12 students in learning computing. Press Coverage: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/12/10/ucla-mayors-office-lausd-help-kick-off-national-computer-science-education-week/#.UqfVH3foBT4.twitter ; http://ampersand.gseis.ucla.edu/ucla-code-org-lausd-and-siliconbeachla-kick-off-hour-of-code-in-los-angeles/

Op-ed from our partners in ACCESS in the OC Register: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/science-541030-computer-students.html 

Press Coverage of UC Berkeley’s event: http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_24696647/hundreds-teens-attend-computer-science-education-day-at

An article on issues of equal access to computing with remarks from ACCESS: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3023167/want-to-get-girls-and-minorities-into-coding-stop-making-computer-science-an-elective

GEORGIA
Barb Ericson of Georgia Tech contributed an Hour of Code activity using Python: http://interactivepython.org/runestone/static/IntroPythonTurtles/index.html and nearly 600 people tried it during CS Education week.  Georgia encouraged teachers to participate in CS education week and also to offer an Hour of Code.  Georgia also hired high school students to lead an Hour of Code at 4 local high schools. 

MASSACHUSETTS
Dozens of elementary, middle school, and high school participants in Girls, Inc. afterschool programs in Holyoke gathered to learn about coding, discuss using computing in school, and hear about opportunities to further study computer science. ECEP staff provided laptops and hands-on learning assistance for this event. Efforts in local schools were also supported, as teachers were provided with banners, buttons, and brochures that encouraged student participation. Press Coverage: http://www.gazettenet.com/home/9740307-95/girls-focus-of-nationwide-effort-to-demystify-computer-coding - .UqiQgCDa4gI.twitter

SOUTH CAROLINA
Workshops were held Monday through Friday at IT-oLogy, in Columbia, SC. This opportunity engaged approximately 100 middle and high school students in hands-on learning, covering the basics of a variety of programming languages and tools. Furthermore, almost 900 K-12 students in the Midlands participated in Hour of Code through IT-ology volunteer school visits.