For the second year, Bruce Museum returned to Whitby to teach our 3rd and 4th grade students an hour of code. After her visit, we asked Bruce Museum Science Fellow Kate Dzikiewicz to share some reflections on the initiative.
Many people think that only geniuses can learn how to program a computer, but the motto of Hour of Code is that “Anybody can learn.” I write this blog at the end of Computer Science Education Week after teaching Hour of Code sessions to more than 400 students at five different Greenwich schools - and two Cub Scout troops!
“This program has the potential to revolutionize the next generation of computer programmers.”
Bringing this program to Whitby School and other Greenwich schools has been an amazing experience. At first, many students were cautious and hesitant. By the end of class, those same students were excitedly showing off their newly coded sprites. I was constantly impressed not only by the speed of their learning, but also by their creativity and innovation in using the tools of Scratch.
Hour of Code is a global program designed to improve diversity in the computer sciences by inspiring students from all walks of life to try computer programming. In high school Advanced Placement computer science courses, only 22% of students are women and only 13% are minorities. These numbers decline even further through college and into the workforce. However, 43% of those who participated in Hour of Code are female and 37% are black and Hispanic students. This program has the potential to revolutionize the next generation of computer programmers.
By teaching coding for kids at a young age, we’re giving them the tools to build a better future for themselves and society. According to an article on Medium.org, there will be more than one million available jobs for computer programmers by 2020.
There’s never been a better time to learn about coding, and never a better place for it than Greenwich schools.