Armwood High School Hour of Code
Thank you to Guest Author Rebecca Quinn, Media Specialist (and Coding Queen) at Armwood High School!
Last week I had the delight of introducing more than 600 of my students at Armwood High School to the global Hour of Code event. This event takes place every year during Computer Science Education week. Most of the students who have come through the Media Center had never done any coding at all. One of the goals of Hour of Code is to give students a fun first introduction to computer science (hourofcode.com). I think that we can safely say that we accomplished this goal. One of my students, senior Taylor Barfield, told me she, “enjoyed it so much that she went home and completed several more activities”. Mrs. Congelosi, one of our science teachers, said that she had rarely seen her students so engaged. This is one of the wonderful outcomes of the Hour of Code event. It gives us the opportunity to show students that computer science is for everyone.
The diversity of the students that have engaged in Hour of Code this week has been impressive. Not only have I had students from grades 9-12 but from all areas of Armwood. We have had AVID students, Collegiate Academy students, ESE students, and even some ELL students. Students have coded not just in English, but in Spanish and French as well. Code.org (the company that runs Hour of Code) has made it very easy to accommodate all students at all levels in their education.
The question I was asked the most this week is--why? Why do we need this? Why would this be important to me? Why do we care about Computer Science? These questions are valid questions and I love students are asking them.
Here are the top three reasons I give to students:
- Computer science promotes higher order thinking. Being able to look at code and not only figure out what is wrong but find a way to fix it is a critical thinking skill.
- Computer science helps to nurture creativity. This is the field that creates Apps, software, CGI and so much more.
- Computer science jobs are among the best paying and fastest growing of all new jobs in the United States.
What excites me the most is that so many of my students were able to come into the Media Center and experience something new!
For more information about the Hour of Code and all of its activities, visit Code.org., and follow @TampaBaySTEM and @ArmwoodMedia on Twitter.
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