• District 50 Students Take Part in ‘Hour of Code’

    Almost 2,000 students and teachers from eight District 50 schools spent last week learning how to understand and write computer code and a handful of them received an iPod as a reward.

    It was called the “Hour of Code,” a nationwide effort to get students to learn more about Computer Science and to try and demystify the topic. In District 50 alone, 1800 hours of code writing was completed.

    The program was offered in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week and organizers hoped to get 10 million students involved across the country. The students watched tutorials about computer coding and learned basic skills that will build the foundation for future learning.

    The benefits are short and long term.

    Experts say that students who learn basic computer science show improved math scores during standardized tests. In addition, there is a growing need for a workforce that is computer literate. One study says that by 2020 one million computing jobs will be unfilled because there aren’t enough employees who understand computer science.

    In District 50, students and teachers who completed the program were entered into a raffle to win iPod Touches that were handed out on Thursday morning.

    The three student winners were:

    Primary - Ruben Granados – Skyline Vista
    Intermediate – Gabriel Hoffman – Westminster Elementary
    High School – Jessica Diaz-Castro – WHS

    Gabriel was thrilled with his prize and his first venture into computer science. “It was strange at first and then I started getting the hang of it. Now I’m on level 13 and still working,” he said.

    In addition, three teachers won 10 iPod Touches to be used in their classrooms:

    Primary – Callae Johancen – Skyline Vista
    Intermediate - Andrea Schmuttermair – Colorado STEM Academy
    High School – Dale Ferguson - WHS

    Even the students who didn’t win the raffle prizes said the experience was amazing.

    “It's crazy to learn that computers aren't smart, it's actually the people behind the computers using code to make it seem smart,” said Kelsey Womack .” It's awesome to be able to learn code. A week ago I didn't even know what it was. Code is an amazing thing that I am totally going to learn more about it.”

    Rosalie Parriott was just as impressed.” In a digital world everything that you depend on such as phones or computers, they all have to do with coding,” she said. “ It is amazing to me that more people aren't learning this because once you get the hang of doing something it gets super easy.”

    Go here to learn more about the program and watch the video below.

    Posted December 19, 2013