We live in an increasingly technology-driven world, and the number of computer science jobs
available is increasing faster than we are producing computer science graduates. The creativity and problem-solving skills required help prepare students for any future career, but 90 percent of our schools do not teach programming, computer science, or even computational thinking.
To begin to make a difference in the face of these numbers, over 300 organizations including DonorsChoose.org, The College Board, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Khan Academy, The Walt Disney Company and many more came together in 2013 to start the Hour of Code program. The goal was to expose students to an hour of coding and computational thinking with ready-to-use tutorials for kindergartners, high school students, and everyone in between.
Reaching Under-Represented Students
To date, over 100 million students around the world, including 1 in 3 students in the US, have tried an Hour of Code. More girls tried computer science last year through an Hour of Code than in the previous 70 years combined. Almost half of the Hour of Code participants were girls last year, and 35 percent were black or Hispanic. By comparison, the average computer science class is only 18 percent female and 8 percent black or Hispanic.
Plan Now for an Hour of Code 2015
An Hour of Code takes place during Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13, 2015. Events can be held in school or out of school. A local technology company can sponsor an event. Every educator hosting an Hour of Code will receive a thank-you gift, and 51 schools in the US (one in each state plus DC) will win a class-set of laptops or $10,000 for other technology.
Hosting an event is simple, and Hour of Code provides a helpful How-To Guide to walk you through the process. The tutorials support computers and tablets, and some don’t require a computer at all. Tutorials are available in over 40 languages. Some of the tutorials feature Disney’s Frozen, Scrat from Ice Age, Angry Birds, and Plants vs. Zombies. There’s even a template lesson plan for teachers. Promotional resources from handouts to videos to posters are available to use as well.
An Hour of Code can be the small spark that engages a student to create and solve problems and set them on a path towards a rewarding career. Talk to your child’s teacher or your school’s principal about hosting an Hour of Code event, and then sign up.