This week, students across the county are taking part in the Hour of Code, a worldwide initiative to introduce students to computer science and computer programming. The initiative, sponsored by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org, helps demystify “coding,” shows that anyone can learn the basics, and encourages young people to consider how computer science could fit into their future.
During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 4-10), we thank our STEM and technical education teachers who help students explore the possibilities for future careers and the educational opportunities that will open doors for them.
On the Hour of Code website, dozens of hour-long activities are available for every grade level and ability and feature kid-friendly activities like building a Star Wars galaxy, using code to develop apps or write music, and designing a dragon. Hour of Code won’t turn anyone into a computer expert in 60 minutes, but it will show students that computer science is fun and creative, and might pique their interest in learning more.
If you’re interested in celebrating an Hour of Code at home, Khan Academy suggests these 60-minute video tutorials for kids and their parents to do together:
- Hour of Web Pages— Learn how to make web pages with HTML tags and CSS, then make your own greeting card.
- Hour of Databases— Learn how to manipulate data in a database and make your own custom store.
Check out these additional online resources and coding activities:
- Code.org— Tutorials and activities.
- Made with Code— Projects and encouragement for girls, who are under-represented in the computing field.
- App Inventor— Write apps for your Android phone or tablet.
- Hopscotch— Programming for iPad.
- Scratch— A free programming language from MIT.
And find more about coding and computer science in GCPS-produced parent tipsheets online, including ways to encourage girls to try computer science, tips for safe “surfing,” and GCPS’ Parent Control Resource Guide.