Every year for a single week in December, over 163,000 classrooms and 100 million students from 195 countries participate in the worldwide learning phenomenon “The Hour of Code.” Created by global nonprofit Code.org, the Hour of Code is one of the largest events in history dedicated to teaching computer science principles to people of all ages.
In various sessions presented throughout December and January, the Nevis Tech-No-Tigers (FIRST Robotics Competition Team 3102) hosted eight Hour of Code sessions in Nevis School, teaching over 90 students the basics of coding. Third and fourth grade classes learned low-level programming techniques used across many coding languages through games themed after the popular movies Frozen and Star Wars, the games Minecraft and Flappy Bird, and famous sport associations where students could create and play basketball, football, and soccer games.
At the high school level, students learned the basics of the programming language Python through a digital drawing feature of the language called Turtle. “Turtle Graphics,” as the practice is known, is a programming tradition that is commonly used to introduce the user-friendly language. Students wrote Python code to create drawings ranging from basic shapes to flags of countries. All together, elementary and high school students wrote over 750 lines of code during the event. Teachers and staff alike participated in the Hour of Code, and some sessions included visits from TNT Lead Mentor Rusty Uscola and Nevis School Superintendent Gregg Parks.
The event was hosted by the outreach and education departments of the Nevis Tech-No-Tigers in an effort to draw attention to the current lack of people working in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and the estimated 750 million computer science jobs that will be unfilled by 2020 if this trend continues. TNT hopes to encourage more students to attend higher education for such careers through programs such as the Hour of Code, Lego MINDSTORM, and VEX programs currently active in Nevis School.
To view pictures of the event, visit TNT’s website at tnt3102.org and click on Media. A video recap of the event is available on TNT’s YouTube channel showcasing the students and the various coding activities they participated in.