Hour of Code brings together students, local programming community

Posted: Friday, December 11th 2015

Working on code at La Jolla High School.

Learning any non-native language can be a challenge, but how about non-human languages that tell computers and programs what to do?

Getting practice in those languages was the goal as students across the San Diego Unified School District held their “Hour of Code” in honor of the just-completed, globally celebrated Computer Science Education Week. See photo gallery»

“You can get the skills you need in the world now, or you can fall behind,” said Josecruz Morales, a junior at Hoover High School in City Heights. “It may be harsh, but this world is moving fast and you need to get with it.”

The Control Group, a San Diego software designer, and Junior Achievement of San Diego helped more than 80 Hoover Academy of Information Technology students during its Hour of Code Monday, Dec. 7.

Other schools and partners participating included:

  • At Morse High School in Skyline, students in Barbara Adam’s class created a video about Cyber Bullying.
  • La Jolla High students worked with teacher Mike Palm to write, animate and publish online Curious George stories with first graders from Doyle Elementary.
  • Clairemont High students joined teacher Scottie Lee in a job shadow at developer Managed Solution.
  • Students at Kearny High School in CorriAnne Burgess’s class created an interactive map to display all the schools and the students in San Diego County that participated in the Hour of Code.
  • Ray Kinne, Computer Science Principles teacher from San Diego High School of Business and Leadership was part of the 100 Computer Science Teacher Summit in Boston, an event sponsored by The College Board and National Science Foundation to convene leading educators teaching the new Computer Science Principles AP curriculum and to kick off Computer Science Education Week.
  • Other schools participating included Innovation Middle School in Clairemont, Language Academy in the College area, and Salk Elementary in Mira Mesa.

“In the world of technology we are constantly learning, so exposing our students early to real-world educational experiences is key,” said Sean Ferrel, President and CEO at Managed Solution. “I believe industry themed curriculum that incorporates career and technical courses with real-world application really prepares younger generations for careers in the industry.”

Junior Achievement of San Diego worked with local computer development companies and San Diego Unified’s College Career and Technical Education Program staff to create a successful learning experience for tomorrow’s programmers.

“Junior Achievement is excited to be part of this important initiative,” said Marla Black, President and CEO at Junior Achievement of San Diego County. The organization is ”focused on how to drive impact and equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to be college and career ready.”

Teachers welcome the real-world designers into their classrooms.

"During my 20 years teaching at Hoover High and participating in community partnerships, I have seen tremendous change for the good in the academic culture at our school," said Bryan Voltner, director of the Academy of Information Technology at Hoover High. "Because of partnerships with companies like The Control Group and programs like the AOIT, students see the relevancy of their education. We are developing the next generation of San Diego leaders.”

 With over 5,000 technology companies and over 50,000 jobs, San Diego is the fastest growing area for software engineers in the country.

"The technology field is exploding especially here in San Diego. Through events like Hour of Code, students see not only how important learning to code is for their possible future careers, but also how fun it can be," said Tischa Culver, Public Relations and Communications Specialist at The Control Group. “We hope this event will encourage the students to continue to work hard and to ultimately consider pursuing a post-secondary education and/or career in computer sciences.”

To get involved in the program, check with your neighborhood high school or contact Gail Lake, Program Specialist, San Diego Unified’s College Career and Technical Education Department, at glake@sandi.net.

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