The Hour Of Code Challenge Starts Next Week

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The Hour of Code is designed to expose kids of all ages and backgrounds to coding (Credit: Code.org)

With much of our world automated, many experts believe that coding should be a core part of modern education. Yet, only 20 US states offer high school students access to computer science courses, and just 8 of those make the subject accessible to kids in lower grades. However, thanks to Seattle-based Code.org's Hour of Code Challenge, learners of all ages and backgrounds can now get exposure to this all-important subject.

The Hour of Code includes fun programming challenges for every age (Credit: Code.org)

Now in its eighth year, the event, offered annually during Computer Science Education Week (December 7th - 13th, 2020), attracts over 100 million participants across 180 countries. The hour-long coding activities, created with help from over 400 partners, including Google, Microsoft, and Khan Academy, are offered in 45 different languages. Suitable for all ages — from 4 to 104 — and experience levels, they are designed to demystify the world of coding and inspire students of all backgrounds to consider a career in software engineering. Though school sessions are usually restricted to sixty minutes, individuals can pursue longer coding challenges and tackle as many of the offerings as they wish on their own time.

Students can select their coding project based on their age, interest level, and programming prowess. Among this year's offerings is A Minecraft Tale of Two Villages. Created by the popular video game's programmers, it is designed to raise awareness of unconscious bias by bringing together two villages with the power of code. The developers state, “[We hope] coders will experience compassion for their neighbors, learn about cooperation and equity, and embrace the diversity that makes us all uniquely special."

Kids will also be able to select COVID-19-centric games involving coding social distance procedures, as well as program their own superhero. With over 200 projects to choose from, there is something to interest programmers of all ages and coding skills.

Once introduced to the subject, a majority of students enjoy computer science (Credit: Code.org)

While 60 minutes is enough time to get students intrigued about the subject, it is inadequate to master programming. To enable them to continue, Code.org offers ongoing computer science tutorials for students and professional learning for teachers. Since 2013, the non-profit has trained over 200,000 educators across grades K-12. In 2018, more than 19,000 Code.org students signed up for and passed the Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles examination.

Though the progress is encouraging, there is still a lot that needs to be done, especially given that most future jobs will require some programming knowledge. To learn how you and your school can get involved with the Hour of Code and the future of computer science, check out hourofcode.com.

Resources: Hourofcode.com

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246 Comments
  • spar7037
    spar7037Friday, January 22, 2021 at 1:44 pm
    i am doing it
    • pugandfoxes
      pugandfoxesFriday, January 22, 2021 at 10:19 am
      same coding is awesome😁
      • manhood123
        manhood123Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 10:53 am
        I code and i made a game it was lit and i made a game with 16 likes and 3 dislikes and if you love coding follow me
        • b1ng0
          b1ng0Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 9:20 am
          I love coding!
          • mintbookworm
            mintbookwormThursday, January 7, 2021 at 7:53 pm
            I loooooooooooooooooove coding (💖👩🏻‍💻)! Do any of you use Scratch, Java Script or Python?
            • jay60
              jay60Friday, January 22, 2021 at 10:50 am
              I use Scratch, and rarely JavaScript.
              • 5000unicorns
                5000unicornsFriday, January 22, 2021 at 10:02 am
                i use scrach and python i think
                • pangjang
                  pangjangThursday, January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm
                  My cousin uses python
                  • thedarkcandle
                    thedarkcandleThursday, January 21, 2021 at 6:57 am
                    Scratch but I want to learn python
                    • ilovetacoslol
                      ilovetacoslolSaturday, January 9, 2021 at 10:01 am
                      Coding is amazing!✨👩‍💻😋
                      • cool_dogs
                        cool_dogsFriday, January 8, 2021 at 6:54 am
                        Nope... but I use swift!
                      • littleartist
                        littleartistTuesday, January 5, 2021 at 10:18 am
                        I did this in 1st grade!
                        • littleartist
                          littleartistTuesday, January 5, 2021 at 10:08 am
                          Neat! I used that in 1st grade!
                          • optuke
                            optukeMonday, January 4, 2021 at 8:07 am
                            COOL!
                            • flexy-123456789
                              flexy-123456789Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 7:09 pm
                              I think it's awsome.
                              • vampirelady2010
                                vampirelady2010Saturday, January 2, 2021 at 1:10 am
                                Yea that game is cool, maybe that game is just really really famous.......!!!!???
                              • kittypowerrosie
                                kittypowerrosieSaturday, December 19, 2020 at 5:23 am
                                I've done hour of code at my school it's pretty fun but not as fun as roblox lol XD
                                • prodancer
                                  prodancerSaturday, January 9, 2021 at 6:35 am
                                  I like Minecraft and world of cubes they are basically the same thing lol
                                  • mintbookworm
                                    mintbookwormThursday, January 7, 2021 at 7:54 pm
                                    What you're favourite game on roblox?
                                    • destroyergaba
                                      destroyergabaTuesday, December 22, 2020 at 6:53 am
                                      i love roblox
                                      • b1ng0
                                        b1ng0Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 9:21 am
                                        Me too
                                        • mintbookworm
                                          mintbookwormThursday, January 7, 2021 at 7:55 pm
                                          Me too! Just wish I could play it more often.