Participating in this year’s Hour of Code led to unexpected results. Students participated during our school's “FLEX” time. During FLEX, most students watch a movie or get help from a teacher. Overall 60% of those who did coding in my classroom were young women. I pondered why I saw more young ladies participating. I reflected on how I promoted coding.
I shared the story of a Utah young lady who set a goal to have her app available for download by May of this year. She was successful (though it was launched under her father’s name because of her age.) The story was popular with both young man and women at my school.
Her app is called "Hue App" and is a free download.
I told students how people who learn coding skills find it benefits other jobs.
I mentioned the fun and good pay associated with coding.
Students were surprised when I directed them to Code.org and did not lecture on what they were to do. I explained the variety of coding “games” available and said, “Please select what you wish to do. If you get stuck, you may ask me for help. I, however, am not here to teach you coding. Often the best coders are able to solve problems on their own.” I enjoyed seeing students leading their own learning.
My middle school plans to add a coding course next year. Our computer science teachers are excited about the new course. Our math teachers learned that being “endorsed to teach math” means they are endorsed to teach this “coding course."
STEM Snack questions: Please respond to these questions in a comment below:
Describe your experiences with Hour of Code? (This might include a photograph.)
How did you or your school promote Hour of Code?
How would you like your school’s classes to change based on this event?
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