Students from South Texas Independent School District’s (STISD) Rising Scholars Academy of South Texas (Rising Scholars) campus learned how to code this month through the campus’ involvement in the Hour of Code campaign.
According to the official Hour of Code website, the Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. The initiative was started by Code.org, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.
The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.
Although the Hour of Code tutorials are available for use at any time, the grassroots campaign goal was for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during Dec. 7-13, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week.
The technology instructors at Rising Scholars led their students through different activities throughout the week in an effort to build up knowledge of computer programming and instill confidence in the students regarding their abilities.
On Monday and Tuesday students watched a video about the need for computer programmers and participated in a hands-on role-playing activity using cups. This “unplugged” approach to computer programming taught students the basics of code through manipulation of everyday items.
On Wednesday and Thursday, students programmed online through a Minecraft-themed tutorial, with the week’s agenda culminating with students programming their own simple Minecraft-themed games.
“We decided to involve our students in the Hour of Code campaign to bring awareness to the need for computer programmers. There is a lack of people to fill thousands of these types of jobs, and it is important to introduce our students to this career possibility and ensure they have at least a basic understanding of the concepts,” says David Rivera, technology instructor at Rising Scholars, regarding the rationale behind participation in the event.
Additional information regarding the Hour of Code movement is available at https://hourofcode.com/us and https://code.org/.