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How does the Internet work? What’s a loop? KIKIvsIT's videos break down computer science basics for brand new beginners. 

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Student of the Week: “Don’t be a consumer, be a producer.”

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Luna
11th Grade
New York, NY

Luna attended her first computer science class without ever writing a line of code. But she knew that computers were important!

She’s never looked back. She’s the NYC Runner up for NCWIT’s Aspirations Awards and has interned throughout her high school summers.

Luna recently spoke about how technology can help change lives for young women at a United Nations event and plans to be a CEO. “I want to be in charge of something that can change the daily lives of people,” she said, “leading others into success.”

Why computer science?
When I heard computer science, I thought computers and I like those. I learned that computer science is much more than just a machine based off 1’s and 0’s, it’s about really being in tune with your thoughts and solving problems through critical thinking and reasoning.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve made with code?
Probably a program I made that makes change based on the price of an item and the amount of money you paid and returns your change in dollars and coins. This was one of the first difficult programs for me to write. It’s one of my favorite because it’s not only something I created myself but something that can actually be used in the real world.

What would you tell other high school students about computer science?
There’s nothing more exciting than producing something that others can use. Computer science can definitely teach you the skills needed to help you think about products that have not yet been created or thinking ahead of your time.

Instead of playing games on your phone or shopping for the next best thing, how about programming games and inventing the next best thing? Get to know the products you use and learn to make them better. Don’t be a consumer, be a producer. Where there is a job, there is computer science.

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.

Computer science can feed a lot of dreams

#ThrowbackThursday

Computer programmers is 1946

In just one week, we’ve made amazing impact together. Our crowdfunding campaign has 60 days left, and we have ambitious goals.

$5 million, 100 million students. Let’s keep going.

10,000 Hour of Code events are already planned for December! Are you on the map yet?

Sign up your Hour of Code event at http://hourofcode.com/

We’re at Dreamforce today! Spreading the word about the Hour of Code.

Code.org congratulates Malala on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Watch her inspiring challenge to girls worldwide for the Hour of Code.

Calling all students, teachers, parents, and engineers

Last year, we unveiled the Hour of Code: a grassroots campaign to recruit ten million students to try their hand at computer science — to break stereotypes and to remove the veil of mystery that surrounds the field. The campaign blew past its goal in days and has now reached 44 million students worldwide.

For this year’s Computer Science Education Week (December 8 - 14), we want the Hour of Code to reach a cumulative 100 million students, worldwide. Today dozens of the largest companies, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Salesforce.com, and Target are joining forces to support this goal.  Whether you’re a student, a teacher, or a parent, you can help us reach this goal.

We’re also launching a historic crowdfunding campaign. In the next 60 days we’re raising $5 million: to help us reach 100 million students and train 10,000 new teachers to expand access to computer science in schools. Every dollar donated will be matched, so please consider a generous gift in support.

I first learned to program a computer when I was 10 years old, when I lived in Iran, during the war with Iraq. 30 years later, living in the USA, the majority of our schools still don’t offer children the opportunity to participate in creating the technology that surrounds us. A sea change in education takes a critical mass, and we need your help. I’m humbled by the generous support of Code.org’s donors and partners and know we’re on our way to giving every student access to this foundational field through Hour of Code.

The generous donors matching gifts to our crowdfunding campaign are: Microsoft, Google, Salesforce.com, Omidyar Network, Quadrivium Foundation, Bill Gates, Reid Hoffman, and Feroz and Erica Dewan.

Participating tech companies include: Atlassian, Chegg, Dice.com, Disney Interactive, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Facebook, GoDaddy, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Optimizely, Pearson, Pluralsight, Redfin, Salesforce.com, Target, TASER, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), viagogo, Whitepages, Workday, Yelp, Zappos, Zillow, zulily, and Y Combinator.

Each of these companies will ask employees to support the Hour of Code in a variety of ways, including trying the Hour of Code themselves, spreading the word to local schools, hosting Hour of Code events at company offices, and donating to the crowdfunding campaign to enable millions of students globally to participate in the Hour of Code.

We all know the tech industry suffers a lack of diversity in its workforce. We can fix this. We are fixing this. The Hour of Code creates an opportunity for every student – boys and girls, of all backgrounds – to try computer science together, worldwide.  Please join us, and make history.

Hadi Partovi
founder, Code.org

Teacher of the Month: He Teaches the Most Popular Class in School

Steve Isaacs
Middle School Teacher
Bernards, NJ

Mr. Isaacs has a long history of working with kids in computer science. Almost two decades ago, he helped open a gaming and computer science center for local kids  offering camps and out-of-school classes in programming, web, game and graphic design, animation and game development. He then got hired to start teaching 7th grade and has since changed the face of middle school curriculum at his school and beyond, using game design to get kids hooked on programming.

He even recently took students to the National STEM Video Game Challenge to show off their work! Most importantly, Mr. Isaacs’ work goes beyond his classroom and school. He launched a forum for educators to share resources with each other and regularly hosts workshops and webinars.

A fellow teacher said Mr. Isaacs’ class is “the MOST innovative combination of computer programming and graphic design I’ve seen in middle school.”

How did you get into teaching?
Programming games provide students with the opportunity to truly learn from failure through the debugging process. It’s pretty amazing to watch childrens’ brains at work while they are trying to solve a problem. It became blatantly obvious to me that kids were deeply engaged in the process of creating their own games and were utilizing a number of skills in doing so.

How did you get computer science into your school?
Computer science teaches problem solving at its core. It became clear that this was an incredible way to introduce students to computer science in an engaging (and non intimidating) manner. I pitched the idea of creating a full 8th grade elective in game design. Since the course began seven years ago, it’s been one of the most popular 8th grade electives.

In order to scale our curriculum, we recently changed the 7th grade curriculum to be a course in game design and digital storytelling. Game design and development provides rich learning opportunities in so many areas, especially in a time when we are trying to introduce students at all ages to introductory computer science concepts.   

How have your students inspired you?
Last year, I had students complete the Hour of Code and provided opportunities for students to also learn on codecademy. The most exciting thing that happened is that I had two girls who got extremely excited about coding through codecademy. They developed such a great understanding of pretty advanced programming concepts and applied them beautifully. I honestly wonder if they ever would’ve discovered their interest in programming if they weren’t provided with the opportunity.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen your students build with computer science?
One student created a flute programmed with Scratch, which is quite cool.

How do you reach students who might think computer science isn’t for them?
Games appeal to everyone, so game design is a great point of entry. In our school we definitely noticed a lack of female participation in the 8th grade game design course when students didn’t have prior experience. We changed our 7th grade cycle (a class that everyone takes) to game design and digital storytelling to address this, as all students would have exposure and feel better educated when it came time to choose 8th grade electives.

Any recommendations for other schools to expand computer science programs?
I believe all school districts should participate in the Hour of Code. It is such a fantastic idea, whether it becomes a career path or not. I think this opens up a wonderful pathway as it provides more choice.

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.