Students and community leaders were introduced to coding at Phoenix Union’s “Hour of Code Challenge” Friday, Feb. 27 at Bioscience High School.
Fifty junior high and high school students, using a game-like tutorial provided by Code.org, created technology, learning the concepts that form the foundation of computer science. Utilizing drag and drop programming, instead of text, participants learned repeat-loops, conditionals, and basic algorithms to write lines of code from tutors like Mark Zuckerberg and Angry Birds.
“As information technology continues to dominate the world our students live and work in, it is important to highlight Phoenix Union’s commitment to preparing our students with the skills they need to be successful in this field,” Parra said
“The Hour of Code foreshadows a coding academy that we are developing here at Phoenix Union,” Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said. “We already have coding classes such as game development, web design, mobile app development, and traditional application programming at several schools. Careers requiring coding and programming are exploding, and our students are underrepresented in the industry. They are the next generation of coders.”
The small, specialty school, located in a new building next to Central High School, will open in 2016. An instructional design team is meeting, and an advisory council of industry partners will convene for the first time in March.
The students at the Hour of Code Challenge programed, side-by-side, with Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela; Senators Katie Hobbs and Martin Quezada; Representative Ken Clark; Kristin Romaine of the CO+HOOTS Foundation; Gary and Melissa Trujillo, Be a Leader Foundation; Sidnee Peck from the Center for Entrepreneurship, ASU W.P. Carey Business School, and school board members from several elementary districts.
The Hour of Code is similar to the Code Day held in Phoenix and 25 other cities, Feb. 14-15. Seventy-five Phoenix Union students participated in Code Day. Students passionate about technology worked 24 consecutive hours forming teams, building apps and games and winning prizes for the best projects. Because of the Phoenix Union students, Phoenix was No. 3 in the nation for participants, and No. 1 for the percentage of minority participants.