Hour Of Code Events Set For This Week

Tuesday Is Deadline For Saturday Event At Library

Monday, December 9, 2013

A group of organizations are partnering to promote computer science in Southeast Tennessee. The STEM Innovation Hub, Chattanooga Public Library, PEF, Engage3D and LampPost Group are working together to support local involvement in a global initiative called Hour of Code. 

Hour of Code is a program developed to expand computer science awareness and increase basic programming skills. While people of all ages constantly use technology for work and entertainment, often little thought is given to how devices and web systems actually work. Through Hour of Code, millions of people around the world will participate in introductory online tutorials focused on basic coding concepts. The goal is to get millions of people coding for one hour during the week of Dec. 9-15, the nation’s Computer Science Education Week. 

The Southeast Tennessee Hour of Code Partnership is encouraging schools, afterschool programs and community members to take advantage of these one-hour coding tutorials. Students and adults of all technical abilities can visit the csedweek.org web site to access the easy-to-use coding tutorials and understand more about the technology behind the computers they use every day. Many schools throughout the region plan to give students time during the school day to explore these tutorials, and community organizations will be encouraging
their afterschool programs to complete the tutorials as well. 

“When we heard about the Hour of Code initiative we knew we needed pull together partners to create widespread involvement in the Chattanooga area,” said Tracey Carisch, director of the Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub. Local economic development experts indicate strong growth in the region’s technology job market, driving organizations like the STEM Hub to target their efforts toward technological learning experiences for students.  

“We need more young people to not only use technology effectively, but also understand how applications and web tools are developed,” said Keri Randolph, director of Learning at the STEM Hub. “Hour of Code presents a great opportunity for doing this.” 

The Southeast Tennessee Hour of Code Partnership is sponsoring an event at the Chattanooga Public  Library for middle school students on Saturday. These young participants will meet computer science professionals, have a free pizza lunch and use the Hour of Code tutorials. Registration information is available at setnhourofcode.com

“Collaboration among education, business, and nonprofit organizations is critical when it comes to giving students the experiences they need to prepare for the real world,“ said Justin Hoenke, a librarian leading the Chattanooga Public Library’s role in the Hour of Code Partnership. 

The region currently has a number of efforts in place to bring businesses and educators together in expanding students’ technological skills. The STEM initiative began two years ago to drive regional awareness and teacher support for science, technology, engineering and math education. Through the STEM Hub, businesses are helping teachers develop real-world learning units and providing needed science and technology supplies for schools.  

This year a new initiative called Pathways to Prosperity also launched in Southeast Tennessee. This regional effort brings business and education together to develop clearly defined academic paths leading to Information Technology and Advanced Manufacturing careers. The STEM and Pathways to Prosperity initiatives will continue to promote student experiences in computer programming for years to come. 

For now, the Hour of Code Partnership is encouraging educators and community leaders to get our citizens coding. Educators and parents interested in providing students with access to the Hour of Code tutorials can get guidance by calling 668-2426 or emailing stem@pefchattanooga.org. Students wishing to register for Chattanooga Hour of Code Event at the Chattanooga Public Library should visit setnhourofcode.com. The deadline for registration is Tuesday.

Related web sites: setnhourofcode.com gogetstem.org setnpathways.org

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