Hundreds of Students Attend Hour of Code

Graphic by Dante DiMauro

Aidan McMillan, Staff Writer

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Computer Science has come to the forefront of many modern careers; many professions rely on a working knowledge of coding and other skills related to computers. This now crucial skill is the focus of both classes and special programs that aim to help students set themselves up for success in a world that is growing more and more reliant on technology. Because of this recent demand for workers with computer knowledge, the website Code.org decided to introduce a worldwide “Hour of Code” week to get students interested in coding. Prominent people from around the globe, such as former U.S. President Barack Obama and current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have supported and promoted the importance of this event.

Hour of Code took place from December 3 to December 9. AP Computer Science Principles teacher Steve Lecky described the event, “Hour of Code is a [global] event, the goal of the hour of code is really to provide an introduction to as many students as possible to coding on a computer and creating a program in the time that they have.” Lecky and Ann Buchanan, head librarian, brought Hour of Code to the high school when they realized the potential it had for the school.

“Ms. Buchanan recognized the importance of bringing Hour of Code to Middletown High School and then she and I together did the preparation and planning,” said Lecky. Students could go to the library to participate during a study hall or during class with a teacher’s permission. The event was successful, with more than 350 students making their way to the library to participate. One of those students was junior Maya Alicki who said, “It was really fun… we made Anna and Elsa create ice skating designs.”

Students participating in the Hour of Code had the ability to choose which of four projects they wanted to work on. The themes of the projects included Angry Birds, Minecraft, Frozen, and Star Wars. The event was geared towards people who were new to the world of computer science. Lecky said the coding sessions offered “fun activities that were accessible to all, even those who were new to coding.”

According to Lecky, students taking the AP Computer Science class volunteered their time to aid students who were struggling on their projects. Computer Science student, junior Cierra Freer, said, “I walked around and assisted anyone who needed help. If there were any questions, I could answer them because I had had some experience.”

Alicki said, “The people who were walking around really helped me because I didn’t know how to code. I had fun… it was a good experience.”

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