During Computer Science Education Week, which took place from Dec. 7-13, teachers from around the globe were encouraged to join The Hour of Code, “a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104,” the Hour of Code website states.
The Hour of Code campaign began with the belief that “every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science,” according to its website. “It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity.”
Code.org organized Hour of Code to give students more access to coding, specifically focusing on girls and students of color.
“The Hour of Code is important to the Archer community because it is a fun, easy way to show people what coding is all about and what our fellow students and teachers can do and have done, while connecting students to our developing coding program,” computer science teacher and Director of Educational Technology Jolina Clement said.
“I think it’s really important to foster confidence in young girls in STEM before gender stereotypes tell them otherwise,” Ari Brown ’16 said. “I think what so many people don’t realize is that engineering, but coding especially, allows for individuality, imagination and creation.”
Through Code.org, students are inspired to practice coding. According to Code.org, tens of millions of students have tried Hour of Code, 48 percent of whom are females.
Senior Iman Hussain has practiced coding at Archer and shared, “Coding is becoming increasingly essential with the rise of technology, and girls should not be left out of getting amazing opportunities in the computer science field.”
Coding is a rising skill and is being added to the core science curriculum at schools across the nation.
At Archer, students can learn coding and programming in the elective computer science class and through X-Block sessions offered to middle schoolers.
“Almost the entire middle school has had contact with coding in some way by this point, and many of those students do the Hour of Code activities for fun. Our second biggest group of participants is faculty and staff,” Clement said.
“It’s like learning another language but having the ability to express yourself through it without talking,” Brown said.
Clement encourages students who are curious about online resources and resources at Archer for coding to speak with her.
“I would love to see more Upper Schoolers get involved, though I know the timing is problematic,” she said.
The Hour of Code takes place before semester one finals for Upper School students, making it difficult to participate in the program.
“I would also love to think of ways to get more community members interested, like parents,” Clement said.