Mason City Schools students in grades 2-8 joined tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries participating in "Hour of Code" - a worldwide initiative from December 7-11 that is part of Computer Science Education Week.
Mason Early Childhood Center and Western Row Elementary Innovative STEM lab students, Mason Intermediate technology class students, and Mason Middle School students explored what it is like to be computer programmer. Students went to code.org and built a Star Wars themed galaxy with code, used blocks of code to go on a Minecraft adventure, and coded with Frozen's Anna and Elsa.
“In the Hour of Code, students used "blockly" coding to create simple versions of popular games and movies such as Angry Birds, Frozen, and Star Wars. We also talked about the importance of computer programming in our lives today," said Sherry Michalak, MI 4th grade technology teacher. "The students brainstormed how technology is used in our lives, such as communicating with our phones and computers, medical procedures, entertainment with games and movies. The students are then able to see the significance and unlimited possibilities of computer programming and through this opportunity of basic coding, they may decide to be our computer programmers of the future!”
The goal of the Hour of Code is not to teach anyone to become expert computer programmers, but to instead shine a fresh light on the fun and creative side of computer science.
“It's important that our students are on the forefront of creating technology of the future – not just consuming it,” said Jonathan Cooper, Innovative Learning Officer. "The Hour of Code harnessed a powerful opportunity by allowing our students and staff to try computer science with people from around the globe, and it connected with our district goals." This year, one of the Mason City School District's goals is to "increase the authentic integration of technology to support student learning.