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Today, we’re celebrating teachers who are giving their all this fall. Join us.

Teacher of the Month: One teacher in a robot costume single-handedly launched computer science at her school

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Elizabeth Bacon
Los Angeles, CA

Ms. Bacon teaches several computer science classes but she isn’t a teacher, exactly. She’s a counselor whose school didn’t offer computer science a few years ago. She proposed the idea for a course and offered to write the curriculum and teach it herself.

Today, Ms. Bacon dives into fractals, recursion and breadth-first-search with her advanced class, has her students start out with coding Homer Simpson’s head in binary and helped one 10th grader make Nicolas Cage’s face appear in every image of her friends browser as a prank!

One student, who came into high school excited about technology, but couldn’t find an outlet for her interest, said she “might’ve abandoned it forever, if not for Ms. Bacon,” who provides extra help in her free time and overall started a trend at her school, kicked off with two-week Computer Science Education Weekend celebrations aimed exposing younger students.

Why did you take on teaching computer science?
Computers are a huge part of kids’ world today, and it’s crucial to help them build their understanding of that world. Computer science is great because you get to see the results of your work right away, and you can really take control of the technology in your life.

What’s the coolest your students have built with computer science?
One of my classes made a multi-level game that including video clips, music and original animation. They worked together to make something none of them could have done on their own. I don’t think I even taught them how to do half of the things. I’d look at a student project and say, “Wait, how’d you know how to do that?”

What would you tell a student who might think computer science isn’t for them?
If you’re creative and have ideas for how people can use technology to make their lives better, you should give computer science a try. Every cool thing on your phone or the web was made using computer science.

How can other teachers bring computer science into their classrooms?
The Hour of Code was a great place for our younger kids to start. Our middle school students were literally bouncing in their seats when they learned that they’d be programming Angry Birds. Teachers with absolutely no experience were able to supervise the lesson. That first hour is a great way to get a feel for teaching computer science.

I’m looking forward to participating in this December’s Hour of Code [Dec. 8-15]. We’re going to do some unplugged activities, and I get to dress up as a robot again!

We’re sharing this story as part of our new Teacher of the Month series. There are teachers around the world who are changing the face of computer science. Do you teach with a rockstar teacher? Nominate them to be a Code.org Teacher of the Month.

Student of the Week: Paulina

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Paulina
9th grade
Mansfield, MA

After Paulina tried the Hour of Code in class, she went home and completed Code.org’s entire 20-hour Intro to Computer Science course on her own, over her school’s vacation! Her excitement was infectious. Other kids in her Entrepreneurship class started work on the course at home, too. She right away asked her teacher where she can learn more programming next. In June, Paulina volunteered at a STEM expo to help bring the Hour of Code to middle school students.

What did you think of computer science before you tried it?
I thought coding and computer science was an extremely complicated and complex system (which of course it can be). But I thought the people who got into it were geniuses. I never thought it to be so accessible, especially to kids! Although lots of its aspects are certainly difficult, there are a lot of things that can be picked up with ease after some practice.

What’s your favorite thing about it?
My favorite thing about coding is how exciting it is when I learn something new. I feel like even learning the smallest new thing opens up so many new doors and lets me create new things!

I love that I can just sit down even after a busy day and still be able to relax with some coding. Hopefully having the skill will give me opportunities I might not have otherwise had.

What’s next?
I would love to make some sort of app! There are so many simple apps that have become so successful, and if I had the skills to make one it would be pretty amazing.

What would you tell other teenagers your age to get them to take computer science?
With a little hard work and time, you can pick up the basics and be well on your way!

We’re sharing this story as part of our new Student of the Week series. Kids in cities and towns around the world who are changing the face of computer science. Do you teach a rockstar student? Nominate them to be a Code.org Student of the Week.

Q

oneill1024 asked:

I'm a sophmore in high school in MA and want to learn more about coding after school. Any idea where I can take classes? Thanks, Danny

A

You can check out local programs in your area at http://code.org/learn/local. Or check out a local university or community college for classes. Or start learning online. Find free online resources here and here.

The Code.org team just interviewed Vint Cerf, “father of the Internet,” for a new video. He’ll be giving a lecture on (drumroll) the Internet!

Wow! We just crossed 2 BILLION lines of code written by students on Code.org. Thank you!

This weekend, we brought 100 educators to Las Vegas to train them how to offer local computer science workshops for elementary teachers. 90% of schools don’t teach computer science. We believe it’s important to start exposing students to the basic concepts early. 
Beginning this fall, free, one-day workshops will be available nationwide. This weekend, we brought 100 educators to Las Vegas to train them how to offer local computer science workshops for elementary teachers. 90% of schools don’t teach computer science. We believe it’s important to start exposing students to the basic concepts early. 
Beginning this fall, free, one-day workshops will be available nationwide. This weekend, we brought 100 educators to Las Vegas to train them how to offer local computer science workshops for elementary teachers. 90% of schools don’t teach computer science. We believe it’s important to start exposing students to the basic concepts early. 
Beginning this fall, free, one-day workshops will be available nationwide. This weekend, we brought 100 educators to Las Vegas to train them how to offer local computer science workshops for elementary teachers. 90% of schools don’t teach computer science. We believe it’s important to start exposing students to the basic concepts early. 
Beginning this fall, free, one-day workshops will be available nationwide.

This weekend, we brought 100 educators to Las Vegas to train them how to offer local computer science workshops for elementary teachers. 90% of schools don’t teach computer science. We believe it’s important to start exposing students to the basic concepts early. 

Beginning this fall, free, one-day workshops will be available nationwide.

Filming a tutorial video with Nat Brown, an engineer who worked on the original XBox team 

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blackspartacus asked:

Learning how to code has really improved my math skills. Coding introduced me to concepts and abstractions that I would otherwise have trouble grasping in any of my math classes. Now whenever I read a word problem, I visualize the information as if I were coding it, which helps me evaluate the answer in a coherent yet familiar way. Yay for coding!

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Love this!

The Code.org crew is filming new computer science videos with instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom.

Umm, are we the only ones who wish we’d developed Instragram? What’s your big app idea? 

“No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a way to tie tech into it. I used to think that I was going to have to decide between tech and chemistry sometime in the future, but it’s entirely possible to combine the two, throw a little bit of business in there too, and still have fun.”

Student of the Week: “No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a way to tie tech into it”

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Djassi Julien
11th grade
New York, NY

Djassi said it took a bit — okay a lot — of “gentle nudging” from his mom to get him to sacrifice a Saturday for some code thing. Totally new to computer science, Djassi dragged his feet to a “Design a Startup In a Day” workshop, organized by All-Star Code, a New York-based program that preps young men of color for bright futures in tech.

“It was so worth it,” he said, and has gone on to join All-Star Code’s summer-long intensive program. Michael from the organization says Djassi is “new, but thriving fast.” His first project was an interactive maze made with Scratch and a MaKey MaKey inventor kit and a friend. Before mid-summer, Djassi has already been offered an internship to keep going in tech!

Why computer science?
My favorite thing about creating technology is that I can completely let my imagination take the wheel. I have complete creative freedom and what I create can influence lives all over the world, and I can have a blast creating it.

What’s your favorite invention made with code?
Instagram. Instantly being able to share those experiences with your friends and family on a platform that focuses solely on sharing photos is just amazing.

What’s your advice for students who might not think computer science is for them?
Not only is it super fun and a perfect outlet for creativity, but its also literally the perfect complement to everything.

No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a way to tie tech into it. I used to think that I was going to have to decide between tech and chemistry sometime in the future, but it’s entirely possible to combine the two, throw a little bit of business in there too, and still have fun.

We’re sharing this story as part of our new Student of the Week series. Kids in cities and towns around the world who are changing the face of computer science. Do you teach a rockstar student? Nominate them to be a Code.org Student of the Week.

We’re filming high school computer science videos at instagram! Here’s our videographer, Bow, getting the perfect Insta-shot in the Gravity Room.

Check us out on Instagram to see who we interviewed

Two brains are better than one!

“Education is about preparing kids for life, and public education is about helping people have equal opportunity, helping those who don’t have as much money have a more level playing field.”
— Code.org co-founder Ali Partovi on why every school should offer computer science