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Delaware students get excited about computer coding Hour of Code events

For weeks, students in the Gifted Education and Enrichment Program at Caesar Rodney School District’s Allen Frear Elementary School in Camden-Wyoming have promoted the importance of computer coding to teachers and students in their school.

 

They have visited every one of the Grade 1-5 classrooms, made posters inviting students to “Crack the Code” and “Keep Calm and Code On,” handed out cards containing links to websites so that students can code at home, and touted computer coding on the school’s morning announcement show: Wake Up, Allen Frear.

 

They even made individual coding logs so students can track their in-class and at-home coding hours and created a large thermometer to show how many hours students code as a school.

 

All of this creativity and work is in preparation for this year’s Hour of Code, a global movement that takes place annually, encouraging participants to develop events that introduce learners “ages 4 to 104” to computer science.

 

This week nearly 200,000 Hour of Code events will be held in more than 180 countries. More than 100 of these events take place in schools and organizations throughout Delaware to engage students – and even families – in the fun and often-underappreciated side of computer coding, and to demonstrate the importance of coding in our everyday lives.

 

“Coding is tough, and most of these students have little experience with it, especially the younger students,” said Kim Cole, Allen Frear’s achievement liaison teacher and also the school’s gifted and enrichment instructor. “Some of them really take off though. They suddenly get it and want to start coding at recess. They love it.”

 

The Hour of Code movement encourages students of all ages to participate in coding, gaining exposure to a field that touches nearly every aspect of our current-day lives. Understanding how programming languages drive computer apps, software, medical technology and more is especially important to students as they develop interests and plan future careers.

 

The Hour of Code also exposes more females to coding, which is a group traditionally underrepresented in computer science. Cole says she sees it engaging English language learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities as well.

 

“With the whole school part of the Hour of Code, all students participate,” said Cole. “Even those who sometimes struggle really enjoy learning about coding. It’s a different way of thinking about things.”

 

At Allen Frear, students are coding in class and during library time this week. Students in grades 3-5 will code using http://code.org. Students in Grades 1 and 2 are using coding apps, like Lightbot and The Foos, and will also receive in-class support from the older students.

 

Many students are getting “hyped up” and coding at home too, said Cole. “Once they get into it, it’s so much fun. An hour just isn’t enough time.”

 

To find a list of all registered Hour of Code events in Delaware, visit https://hourofcode.com/us.

 

Alison May
alison.may@doe.k12.de.us
(302) 735-4006