By Thomas Sallee, Grade 8 Social Studies, Wilson Middle School and Karen Knapik, Technology Teacher, Kennedy Middle School
On Wednesday December 11, all 8th graders at Wilson Middle School took part in the “Hour of Code”. Designed by Code.org founder Hadi Partovi, and backed by people from President Obama to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, the “Hour of Code” is meant to be an opportunity to introduce computer programming to school age children across the world. At a time when there are projected to be 1 million more computer science jobs in the United States than computer science students by 2020, and where only 18% of computer science students in the US are female, it is important to introduce all students to the language of the future.
For the final hour of their day on Wednesday, Wilson 8th graders watched an introductory video by President Obama and Code.org, and then followed tutorials, exploratory lessons, and open-ended coding games/projects at their own pace on their Natick Public Schools laptops. For more information about the “Hour of Code”, visit the official website: http://csedweek.org/
Karen Knapick Writes:
The day was highly successful as I had 22 students volunteer to stay after to begin to learn the concepts behind writing computer code. I also had my fifth graders take part in the activities, during their IT special, and plan to dedicate a day next week to my 6th grade classes. All told we will have approximately 263 students participate in Hour of Code activities.
My favorite part of the day was having equal numbers of girls and boys participate and hearing things such as “Oh, that’s how it works!!!”
Overall it was an amazing day and I will certainly be looking for more opportunities for the Kennedy students to participate in these types of activities.
Natick High School Graphic and Web Design Teacher, Lori Cullen also participated in the event and taught her students the code behind it all! Overall, it was a great day for raising awareness of computer science, coding and the power of the code!