The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) and it’s YouLaunch team are promoting local participation in the global Hour of Code movement during Computer Science Education Week, which takes place from December 5 to 11, 2016. Algoma area elementary and high school teachers are encouraged to host a one-hour (or less) computer science tutorial with their students by accessing free training and resources on the Hour of Code web site www.hourofcode.org.
Research shows that kids pick up programming concepts before they know how to read and write. In fact, their brains are more receptive to computer languages at a young age, just like foreign languages. Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Together we can teach students critical 21st century skills, ensuring students are at the forefront of creating technology for the future--not just consuming it.
“The employment demand for experienced individuals and new grads with computer science education and skills is growing substantially in the Sault and beyond, and we are currently seeing it like never before in our local ICT sector,” said Gerry Bugyra, Business Development Manager, SSMIC. “We are very fortunate in Sault Ste. Marie to have both a college and a university with reputable computer science programs, and it is imperative that we encourage our youth from an early age to explore and learn more about our increasingly digital world and its endless opportunities. What may start as a hobby or general interest can evolve into a fulfilling and financially rewarding career path.”
The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.
Fun and engaging tutorials and activities are accessible for free online, including activities based on the Star Wars and Frozen movies, and the Minecraft game. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN HOUR OF CODE 2016:
Go online to https://hourofcode.com/ca and register to organize an Hour of Code. If you need classroom assistance please select Patti McGonigal, Youth Outreach Officer, to help in the classroom.
Choose a tutorial from www.code.org for your students
Run Hour of Code on an internet connection in the classroom as a group, in pairs, individually, or offline (going unplugged is a great option too)
Teachers can also check out the Hour of Code teacher-led class programs here: https://code.org/educate/curriculum/teacher-led
ASK A CODER
YouLaunch has access to many exceptional computer science experts who want to share their experience and knowledge with Sault Ste. Marie’s youth. Interested youth can visit YouLaunch’s “YouCode” website at www.youlaunch.ca/youcode to ask any coding/programming/computer science related question between December 5 to 8, and a real-life programmer will answer the questions and we will post them online on December 9.
BEYOND THE HOUR OF CODE
Schools and students can participate in Hour of Code all year round by accessing Beyond the Hour of Code at www.hourofcode.com/ca/beyond and SSMIC is eager to support those interested.
After students have participated in the Hour of Code, they should be encouraged to explore more about coding and computer science. Coding resources can be found at http://www.youlaunch.ca/resources.
Both the Algoma District School Board and Huron Superior Catholic District School Board support the Hour of Code event and encourage area teachers to register their classes. Over 1,800 students took part in the 2015 Hour of Code.
If you have any questions about "Ask a Coder" or Hour of Code, please contact Patti McGonigal, Youth Outreach Officer with YouLaunch at the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre by phone or email at 705-942-7927 ext. 3174.