Hour of Code teaches SJUSD students computer coding in a fun way

Photo by San Jacinto Unified School District
Mtn. View High School Senior Tamakia Colquitt prepares Sphero robot coding game for De Anza Elementary students.

■ By Dawn Lawrence / Contributed

The San Jacinto Unified School District promoted computer programming at all school sites last week during Computer Science Education Week. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, there will be 9.2 million jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Half of those jobs will be in computing or information technology. Hour of Code, a global initiative, introduces students to coding in a fun and engaging way and aims to build confidence and spark student interest in the field.

We are taking students away from the screen where they can interact with physical environments and see their coding skills come to life.”
– Nicole Rossi, MVHS library media technician

“Students need to be more than just consumers of information,” says Gabrielle Henderson, one of SJUSD EdTech teachers on special assignment. “They need to be creators. Hour of Code is an excellent way to introduce computer programming to every student, at every grade.”
“All our Mountain View High students were engaged with the topic of computer science beginning at 10 a.m. Dec. 7,” says Denise Leonard, teacher on special assignment at Mtn. View High/Mtn. Heights Academy, “and the integration of coding in our Makerspace has increased the interest of computer science tremendously.”
Fifth grade students from De Anza Elementary also participated, and were monitored by 14 MVHS students as they coded Sphero robots to complete a variety of tasks and activities such as bowling, playing capture the flag, and maze navigation. Nicole Rossi, the Library Media Technician at MVHS, designed many of the activities.
“By combining our Makerspace with Hour of Code,” says Rossi, “we are taking students away from the screen where they can interact with physical environments and see their coding skills come to life.”

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