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Students expand computer science knowledge through Hour of Code

December 16, 2016

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Ault Elementary School students in the robotics club utilize coding skills using Wonderworks apps that run programmable Dash robots.

Dec. 16, 2016—CFISD students across the district joined the grassroots Hour of Code movement during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 5-11, to learn the important role computer science plays in educational and career opportunities.

Educators and students logged on to Code.org throughout the week to watch videos, take tutorials and practice coding through interactive games. The global Hour of Code movement reached tens of millions of students throughout 180 countries.

Students atAult Elementary School who participate in a weekly robotics club practiced coding skills using Wonderworks apps that run three programmable Dash robots. Approximately 150 students in first through fifth grades have participated during their recess time on Tuesdays and Fridays in the effort spearheaded by librarian Courtney Kaler and language arts instructional specialist Ashley Jones.

Ault students and parents have shown a huge interest and we would like to be able to reach as many students as possible,” Kaler said. “Our campus believes in offering opportunities for students to learn to code because coding is the equivalent of basic literacy in our digital age.”

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Woodard Elementary School students involved in the Woodard Technology Club log into the code.org website on Dec. 9 to select coding activities during Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code initiative.

A total of 120 Woodard Elementary School students in third through fifth grades met this month during their Woodard Technology Club meetings to learn about coding. During their Dec. 2 meeting, the students learned about coding and were encouraged to visit the Hour of Code website from home during the week. During their Dec. 9 meeting, all students logged in and selected an activity from the website.

The club also purchased 15 Sphero SPRK+ robots that it will begin programming in January to conduct STEAM activities, collaborate, create art and navigate mazes.

Students in Jerry Boyd’s Teen Leadership class at the Alternative Learning Center—East enrolled on code.org and began to learn to code using games such as Flappy Bird, Minecraft and Star Wars.

The students learned about algorithms as well as how to organize commands into logical sequences. Some students went deeper, completing courses that teach directional skills to create geometrical shapes and designs. Others worked on courses that began to teach the basics of JavaScript, the language used to create graphics for video games and movies.

“All in all, I think Hour of Code week provided my students with an opportunity to learn about a potential occupation they might not have otherwise been exposed to,” Boyd said.

Four classes with approximately 20-25 students participated in the Hour of Code at Millsap Elementary School. In addition to learning coding through games such as Minecraft, Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Moana and Light Bot, students listened to two guest speakers who presented on computer programming careers. One of the speakers worked previously as a program analyst at CenterPoint Energy, while the other currently works with QC Games in Austin.

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Kirk Elementary School fifth-grade students in Stephen Hurst’s class participate in Hour of Code activities found on the code.org website. 

Fifth-grade students in Sandy Deloney and Stephen Hurst’s classes at Kirk Elementary School took part in the Hour of Code activities on code.org.

According to Dorie Glynn, digital learning teacher, the school plans to give all 969 students an introduction to coding in some format during the 2016-2017 school year.

“Many of our students are coding stories and games using Scratch,” Glynn said.

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