#HourOfCode swept the nation as a hallmark of Computer Science Education Week (December 4 – 10, 2017), during which 10 of SFUSD’s elementary and middle schools teamed up with the Education Fund to bring volunteers into classrooms. One-hour, self-guided activities were used to show students that anyone can code, and computer science is more accessible than we often think. This year, to celebrate ingenuity, innovation and passion through coding, the Education Fund placed 160 volunteers in classrooms citywide for a total of 576 hours of code.

Mr. Hoss Koch, Assistant Principal at James Denman Middle School, believes Hour of Code is a special opportunity to connect math, science and art. Mr. Koch said, “It’s really neat to bring things to life,” and that Hour of Code is changing computer science’s perception of being boring to being visual, hands-on and project-based. Students’ interest was noticeable as sixth and seventh graders asked volunteers from Salesforce, Splunk, Twilio, and EducationSuperHighway questions like, “How can I become a coder?” and “What kind of college would I go to?” As Kongposh Sapru, a volunteer from Salesforce, reflected, “It’s amazing that at such young ages, students can explore such different fields.”

Ms. Rori Abernethy teaches math at Denman and was excited to have Hour of Code volunteers show her students how to use HTML coding on the backend of websites. Her students will use these skills in the spring when they create digital portfolios of their 2017-2018 work. Ms. Abernethy was particularly excited that her female students were so engaged – a significant reflection considering only 18% of collegiate computer science majors are women. 

Ms. Berger, a Social Studies teacher at Marina Middle School, also applauded Hour of Code for expanding our notions of computer science: “It captured interests of students who might not have thought of themselves as ‘coders,'” she said. The activities vary in skill and theme. From Minecraft to Moana, there is an Hour of Code activity for everyone.

Computer Science Education Week has wrapped up for 2017, but code.org/learn is available year-round for aspiring and veteran one-hour coders. For more information about volunteering in SFUSD or to have your corporation sponsor a school, visit www.sfedfund.org. 

“The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.” –  https://hourofcode.com/us