There was a low hum of excited voices in the Washington School library on Dec. 5 as a group of third and fifth graders took part in Hour of Code activities during Computer Science Education Week.
“I made it,” said one youngster as he did a little dance in his seat upon completing a programming level.
Computer code is the basic set of instructions or rules that a computer understands. Coding is taught as part of the computer science courses at Westfield High School. The Hour of Code project was started in 2013 by Code.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to boosting student interest in programming and other computer science-related topics.
Across Westfield Public Schools, media library specialists ran coding workshops that had students of all ages using the fundamentals of programming to design a game, build an application, create interactive stories, produce videos and more.
“I’m going to be a coder when I grow up,” said an enthusiastic first grader at Franklin School. “I’m going to program a robot to program a robot to program a robot.”
New Jersey Department of Education Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dr. David Greer visited Roosevelt Intermediate School on Dec. 5, as 8th graders used coding building blocks to program an animated dance party. Elsewhere at Roosevelt, 6th graders used a coding application to send instructions to a small wireless micro:bit to create an LED coded design.
“The goal of Hour of Code is to get students and teachers excited about computer science,” said Roosevelt librarian/media specialist Megan Lynn. “Students are not expected to become an expert in an hour or even a week; however, we want them to learn that computer science is fun and creative. Hopefully, the program helps students realize that anyone can learn to code."