Madison students learn computers through Hour of Code observance

It’s called an Hour of Code but the learning from it reaps benefits for a lifetime.

Students in Madison City took part last week in the annual Hour of Code, a national observance in association with Computer Science Education Week.

“Hour of Code” began as a one hour intro into computer science designed to “de-mystify” computer coding. The idea is to show that anybody can learn the basics of computers and to broaden participation. Thus the heavy emphasis in elementary schools.

Engineering and computer science students from James Clemens and Bob Jones high schools visited several Madison elementary schools to assist the young students with computer learning activities. The older students talked about what they’ve learned from computers and how computers are used in various ways.

Teachers and older student mentors led the younger ones through fun computer games, designs and other exercises. A session at West Madison Elementary during the after-school hours was entitled “Empowering Girls to Code.”

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.

The goal of the Hour of Code is not to teach anybody to become an expert computer scientist in one hour. One hour is only enough to learn that computer science is fun and creative, that it is accessible at all ages, for all students, regardless of background.

The measure of success of this campaign is not in how much computer science students learn – the success is reflected in broad participation across gender and ethnic and socioeconomic groups, and the resulting increase in enrollment and participation we see in computer science courses at all grade levels.