Hour of Code 2015

A snowflake designed by a student during Hour of Code

A snowflake designed by a student during “Hour of Code”

A new field of study is sweeping the world, and Nashoba students are hopping on board. Back in December, various math and computer science classes took part in the international “Hour of Code.” According to its website, “Hour of Code” holds the belief that, “every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.”

Learning computer science allows students to have a deeper understanding of how devices like Smartphones and tablets work. “Hour of Code” is part of a larger movement to introduce students to this innovative and important career path earlier in their education than is standard practice. In the past, students who did not participate in an out-of-school computer activity or learn computer science independently would not be exposed to the topic until college. This is a problem, due to the growing need and importance of this valuable skill in the ever-changing landscape of modern society.

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama announced his goal of revolutionizing education by “offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one.” The President has backed up this proposal with $4 billion in new funding for computer science in schools, as well as by calling on governors, mayors, and philanthropists to join the cause of catapulting American education into the future.

According to whitehouse.gov, “Last year, there were over 600,000 tech jobs open across the United States, and by 2018, 51 percent of all STEM jobs are projected to be in CS-related fields.” Nashoba’s “Hour of Code” is just one small part of a large and vital movement that is occurring all over the world. The need for tech-savvy citizens is becoming ever more vital, not only to maintain a healthy and competitive economy, but also as a matter of national security. The United States government added 10,000 tech jobs last year alone, and many of those were in cyber security. The increased prevalence of cyber attacks from nations like North Korea only add to the imperative of updating education.

While the official “Hour of Code” won’t take place again until next year, students can learn programming year-round, either by signing up for a computer science class at Nashoba or visiting these sites: code.org groklearning.com and codecademy.com.