NJ Tech Community to Participate in Hour of Code –Still Room for Volunteers
Photo: Volunteers during Newark Hour of Code 2013 (file photo). Photo Credit: Jaffe Communications
Volunteers during Newark Hour of Code 2013 (file photo). | Jaffe Communications

All over New Jersey, tech communities are organizing for Hour of Code events during the week of Dec. 8 through 14.

In many cases, they are volunteering to teach code in schools or they are going to places like the Teen Tech Center at the Boys and Girls Club in Jersey City which just opened in October, to show how much fun coding can be and how youngsters can be successful doing it.

There is still time for you to volunteer for these programs.

The Hour of Code is a project of Code.org, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color, according to the website. This year, Hour of Code is part of Computer Science Education Week.

In many cases programmers go into local schools and give a lesson that provides instant feedback to students that they can be successful programmers.

Code.org’s vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. They believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.

Newark

In Newark, Isaiah (Zay) Little says that this year “there will be close to 25 schools (K-12) participating… with two volunteers per class. The curriculum will range from basic programming principles for kindergarteners, HTML basics and JavaScript fundamentals taught to middle and high school students.” 

He adds that on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 pm there will be an Hour of Code Meet 'n' Greet hosted by Code for Newark in City Hall to introduce and prepare volunteers. The first day for volunteers to work with students is Wednesday (10 December). There are sessions at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m.

Jersey City

In Jersey City on December 11, OpenJC, Jersey City Board of Education, Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County, with support from the mayor's office, are organizing Hour of Code for middle and high school students.

Participating are Middle School #40, Middle School #7, Middle School #4, Academy 1, Infinity Institute, Great Futures Charter High School, and the new Teen Tech Center at the Boys and Girls Club.

Asbury Park

In Asbury Park, Cowerks, Jersey Shore Tech, and The Lakehouse Music Academy are combining forces to participate year’s “Hour of Code” week.

During this event, to be held on Sunday Dec 14th from 1 p.m.–3 p.m. at Cowerks in downtown Asbury Park, students will learn from local industry professionals about the types of things they can expect to do as a computer scientist and what it means to write code.

Following these inspirational stories, students will be encouraged to participate in a “hands on” activity where they will use code to help Frozen’s Anna and Elsa as they explore the magic and beauty of ice.

“We’re really excited to bring such a high profile event such as ‘Hour of Code’ to Asbury Park and I think hearing stories from some of our professionals will be really inspirational for the students.”, comments Cowerks co-founder Danny Croak.

“Programming is quickly becoming a basic job skill and we’re only going to see a greater demand in the coming decades. I think demystifying what programming is and teaching kids at a young age that it’s not all 1’s and 0’s is crucial to growing as a society,” Bret Morgan, his partner added.

In addition, NJTechWeekly.com has learned that the Microsoft store at the Westfield Garden State Plaza is getting into the act. As part of the Hour of Code week, the Microsoft Store  hosted workshops  Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. to teach kids 8 – 13 how to code, program and play in their own gaming world using kid-friendly programming.

Looking at the Code.org page we were amazed at how many schools in New Jersey are participating in the program. You can see for yourself here. There is still time to volunteer for many of these events and I encourage programmers to do so.

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