Schoolwide Hour of Code Sparks Interest in Computer Science

Jacqueline Pisani
You’ll find them under a table; they’re sprawled out across bean bags chairs, furtively sitting in stairwells, or blocking the hallway. They were spotted in the cafeteria, the library and in Tomasso Hall, too. For one hour, from 9:00-10:00 on Friday, every Wyvern, the tall and the small, was coding without many issues at all to paraphrase a famous holiday story.
This is the third year that the entire school has participated in an Hour ofCode, a worldwide movement spanning over 180 plus countries. The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. This year Computer Science Education Week is December 5-11. Initiated by Creative Arts teacher Greg Scranton to spark an interest in coding, an Hour of Code illustrates to students that the world of coding is all around us and helps them appreciate computer language. Ann Sciglimpaglia, Academic Dean, designed the hour recognizing that the students are on various levels of proficiency. Sixth graders work on simplified level of coding whereas, the high school students work with more complex computer languages. She explained, “This is a fun, low risk activity that we can all do as a community.”

Scranton teaches the Form 1 students coding, one of the art electives that every seventh grader is required to take. As the students progress through the grades, they can determine if they want to study robotics and pursue more coding with greater complexity. Scigiimpaglia is particularly impressed with an intrepid group of Middle School students known as the Google Ninjas.The group formed when the school transitioned to Google products and helped trouble shoot issues for fellow students, faculty and administrators. During the Hour of Code, the these enthusiastic self-starters, wanted to challenge themselves and teach C#, a new computer language, to other students. After pitching the idea to the administrators, the Google Ninjas taught a class to ten students, walking around the room, offering suggestions and guiding their classmates through the process of creative problem solving. Sciglimpaglia said, “That to me is so KO. It’s kids wanting to do something and running with it. What I hope is that it sparks something with kids and they’ll want to make more of it.”
 
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Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.
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