As everyone recovers from Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and begins to place presents under their trees, teachers around the world are preparing an even better way to celebrate the end of the year: a computer science revolution that may change the lives of tens of millions of students.
In conjunction with Computer Science Education Week (#CSEdWeek), Code.org has once again aligned the stars to help students from across the globe to participate in Hour of Code (#HourofCode). This grassroots movement launched in 2013 is designed to make coding less intimidating by offering fun, engaging tutorials hosted by computer science superstars like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. From learning basic algorithms to conditional coding arguments, students will be able to create their own games and learn how some of their favorites work.
Of course, Hour of Code is only as effective as the teachers and parents who choose to participate. So, to give you a little motivation to click the sign-up link, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why you, your students, and parents just can’t afford to miss this amazing week-long opportunity this December.
1. 10 Million Girls and Counting
Last year’s Hour of Code boasted an amazing participation of 15 million students, with over 10 million of those being female. That’s more women coding in a single week than have been in computer science classes and jobs over the last 70 years. In addition, Hour of Code engages female teachers to lead computer-science tutorials, which gives girls much-needed mentors to guide them towards information-technology interests.
2. Coding Job Growth at 22% – Twice as Fast as Other Professions
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Software Developer jobs are expected to increase 22% by the year 2022. That’s almost double the average job growth rate in the U.S. In addition, the average salary for a programmer is over $90,000 per year, making computer-science and coding professions some of the best-paid in addition to being in high demand.
3. Hour of Code = Million-Dollar Classes
The need for new programmers isn’t lost on computer science mogul Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and venture capitalist John Doerr (Intel, Google). TechCrunch reports that each of these multi-billionaires invested $500,000 towards the Hour of Code’s $5 million goal. And where is all this investment going? Code.org plans on bringing its tutorials and support materials to 100 million students if the goal is met. Currently, IndieGoGo states that over $3.9 million has been raised, a record for the independent crowdfunding site.
4. Family-Friendly Programming Means Minority Male Success
Hour of Code is not just a school-based program, meaning that individuals and families can be involved in the coding activities. Research from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (ACLU) shows that African American, Native American, and Alaskan Native male students are most likely to pursue STEM-related careers and courses when they have strong family support and extracurricular family activities.
5. Coding With Friends: Angry Birds and Disney’s Frozen
Forget about dry lectures. This year’s Hour of Code hosts characters that every student is familiar with. In addition to video lectures from Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, participants will get to move and integrate characters from Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. In addition, the dynamic duo from Disney’s Frozen, Elsa and Anna, teach students how to create a snowflake design program that works with fractals.
6. Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Miss America are Pro-Code
In addition to the financial support, Hour of Code has garnered the attention of several high-profile celebrities, including Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, and Miss USA winner, Erin Brady. The reason is simple: only one percent of all female high school graduates choose a computer science in college. Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history requests women and girls in every country to participate. Via YouTube she said, “You can do it, even if you don’t have a computer.”
7. The Best Way to Celebrate #CSEdWeek
8. Honor Computing History Like a Girl
One of the key elements of the Hour of Code is reclaiming computer science as a gender-neutral field. Major participants in this year’s festivities include the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, founded by early computer scientist Anita Borg. In addition, some schools are honoring “Amazing Grace” Hopper, the “first lady of software” and inventor of the COBOL programming language (and the term “debugging”) with specialized lesson plans.
9. Motivated Students Perform Better on Tests
Although the key goal with this program is not to have better test scores, research from the University of Sussex shows that the more motivated a student is to learn in a programming environment, the better their performance. In addition, the comfort level of a student has a huge impact on how these students perform at the post-graduate level. This means that low-stress, high-reward programs like Hour of Code are setting a vital framework for programming success after school.
10. It’s Easier Than You Think
Finally, you don’t have to be a programmer to host an Hour of Code tutorial session. When a parent or teacher signs up, they will be sent a training packet with tutorials about how to show students coding basics. And, since the program is geared at showing non-technical people how to code, the tutorials are easy enough for even the most computer-shy. And, if you can’t fit your Hour of Code in during that the week of Dec 8-14, you can do it the week before or after and it still counts.
With all of these amazing reasons to get involved, there is no excuse to miss the largest online coding community event in history – potentially inspiring tens of millions of students to explore coding over the week of December 8-14. Not only is this your chance to ignite the spark of interest in a number of new career avenues, but it could just be your opportunity to help make computer science history!
For more info and great resources on how to participate in Hour of Code visit: http://code.org/educate/hoc
Follow and chat with us in social media: