Hour of Code 2019

Elementary Students Learn About Coding Careers During Hour of Code Events
Posted on 12/13/2019
Older Hilltop students work with younger students to teach them more about coding during Hour of Code activitiesStudents in nearly 200 countries participate in Code.org’s Hour of Code each year. The annual event aims to give every student in every classroom the opportunity to learn computer science. The event offers hundreds of interactive coding tutorials that students can do independently, as a group, online, or offline to learn how coding works. Hilltop, Pine Bend, and Salem Hills elementary schools and the Atheneum Gifted Magnet Program held Hour of Code activities this year to introduce students to coding and computer science careers.

Pine Bend students worked individually and as partners to complete Code.org activities. Each activity taught students how to determine what they needed to do to complete an objective and then how to combine commands so the computer would know what steps to take to achieve the correct result. Kindergarteners learned how to combine simple commands while older students built large lists of code to finish entire game levels.

At Hilltop, older students, or Big Buddies, met with their younger Little Buddies to do Code.org activities, too. Big Buddies showed their Little Buddies how to code and Little Buddies helped do some activities, such as coding a dance party.

Earlier in the day, video game developer Shawn Wignall visited Hilltop to talk about his job. Mr. Wignall told students about how he taught himself how to code and now has created multiple games, some of which became more popular than others. He told students that a lot of his work involves repeatedly testing his games to find and correct issues, and he advised students who are interested in a computer science career to stay determined because finding issues can be discouraging.

“The goal is not for your work to be perfect on your first try, but for you to be brave and keep trying, even when something fails,” Mr. Wignall said.

Application developers from Solution Design Group visited Salem Hills and Atheneum to talk about the history of computers and how they work. Students did an offline activity with the speaker to show how computers need code to tell them what to do, as students saw with the Code.org activities. The speakers also talked about the different coding languages and what they do as developers.