Through the efforts of the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network (viNGN), dozens of U.S. Virgin Islands students and adults participated in the Hour of Code hosted by Code.org during Computer Science Education Week last December, and we continue to hear from people how they have been inspired to learn more about computer programming, scripting, and application development. The original goal of the organizers was 10 million students; this number has been surpassed and continues to grow.
To date over 21 million around the world in 170 countries have sat down to take the Hour of Code tutorials and earned their certificates, with “Beyond the Hour of Code” course materials for those who would like something more advanced. Geared to everyone from “6 to 106”, the Hour of Code is only the beginning. According to its website, the vision includes advocating for the inclusion of computer science as part of the core curriculum for K-12 students in all 50 United States, and increasing exposure to young women and underrepresented students of color throughout the world.
Locally, in addition to the 45 students who were administered by a UVI instructor and the groups of school students who participated at the Kirwan Terrace Public Computer Center, several adults also passed the course at the Turnbull Library PCC. Many have also taken the course on their own. Below is some of the feedback viNGN received by those asked if the Hour of Code has helped them in any way –
“I am interested in computer programming. I started programming in basic years ago but never kept up with it. I interested in learning as many programming languages as possible and see this as a good way for me to get back into programming.” (U. A. Penn)
“Enticed me to learn Java and J query” (M. Schanfarber)
“More students enjoying the Hour of Code and earning their certificates! Collaboration and experimenting are the keys to making it thru the Code.org exercise. Some opt to go “beyond” and try more advanced exercises! I keep hearing from people who simply signed up on their own and did the Hour of Code in the U.S. Virgin Islands – one woman stopped me in a grocery store to let me know her children had participated, and a policeman came to the library to let me know he got a flyer and was going to be encouraging his children and asking for more information! This is a movement started here.” (A. Davis)
“Yes but I will have to seek further” (T. Alexander)
“It helped me understand how programs work. It taught me patience and really made me think logically. I also realize that this is an aspect of computer science that I don’t feel comfortable with and so I will leave this part to others.” (K. Hampton)
“I completed mine. Hopefully I can go further and really write a program – Thanks” (J. Wheatley)
“I work at UVI’s College of Science and Math on St. Thomas. I completed UVI’s 3-2 Engineering Program in 2010 with a BS in Applied Math from UVI and a BS in Computer engineering from Columbia University. I am a programmer with a passion for community service and promoting computer science in the Virgin Islands. (K. Hampton)
Today, I hosted two Hour of Code sessions with 45 students from UVI’s University Bound program. They were in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade from various schools including CAHS, Eudora Kean, Antilles and All Saints. I think they had fun and hopefully learned something from the tutorials provided on csedweek.org… (A. Sanchez)
Thank You ssoo much Anita Davis for helping me! When I first came to You, I did not even know how to turn on the computer, Praise God with Your Help, I now can get this certificate 😀 God Bless You – (A. Georges)
The Hour of Code tutorials remain online at http://www.code.org, free to all, including “unplugged” lessons which do not require the use of a computer. Educator Resources are online for teachers to impart coding skills to their students.