Getting Ready for the Hour of Code in Maine

CodeOrg-3

At least 15,000 Maine students at over 40 schools are expected to participate in the Hour of Code campaign between December 9 and 16, according to the organizers at Code.org.

The national initiative to demystify computer science is being sponsored by Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn, Mark Zuckerberg, the College Board, the Boys & Girls Clubs, and over 100 other partners.

The following Maine schools have already pledged (as of November 25) to offer fun, self-directed programming tutorials to all of their students during that week:

  • Biddeford Regional Center of Technology
  • Bowdoin Central School
  • Bowdoinham Community School
  • Brooklin School
  • Chebeague Island School
  • Durham Community School
  • Edna Libby School
  • Elm Street School
  • Falmouth Elementary School
  • Foxcroft Academy
  • Freeport High School
  • Freeport Middle School
  • Frank H. Harrison Middle School
  • George E Jack School
  • Harpswell Community School
  • HB Emery Jr. School
  • Hermon School District
  • Horace Mitchell Primary school
  • Kennebunk High School
  • Lake Region Middle School
  • Lincoln Academy
  • Lincoln Middle School
  • MIddle School of the Kennebunks
  • Madawaskasa Middle/High School
  • Marshwood Middle School-6-White Team
  • Mast Landing School
  • Milo Elementary School
  • Morse Street Elementary School (300 students participating)
  • Pownal Elementary School
  • Rangeley Lakes Regional School
  • Reeds Brook Middle School
  • RSU 21
  • St. John Regional Catholic School
  • SeDoMoCha
  • Sea Road School
  • Shapleigh School
  • South Portland School District
  • Steep Falls Elementary
  • The Eddy, Edgecomb
  • Wells High School
  • Williams-Cone School
  • Woodside Elementary School
  • Yarmouth High School

What you can do

Anyone can participate in the Hour of Code, either in school or at home. Get started by watching the introductory videos for students or for teachers and learn why computational thinking is an important problem-solving technique for everyone.

Then, go to the Hour of Code website and choose either “Participate yourself” or “Host an Hour of Code.” On Monday, December 9, you’ll receive notification when the site officially launches with self-directed online tutorials for all level learners.

If you are a computing or IT professional living near one of the schools listed above, please contact the school and offer to visit and talk with students about your work. You can raise awareness of the profession while helping students imagine pathways toward their future careers.

In the meantime, several tutorials are already available. For elementary and middle school students, the Angry Birds how-to is a great place to start and MIT’s Scratch has thousands of tutorials and samples. Then, for those who want to move beyond drag-and-drop programs, Khan Academy’s programming tutorial is a good introduction to code. And to learn how computational thinking doesn’t even require a computer, try the group activity that only needs paper, pencils, and some paper cups!

What’s happening around the state

  • Project>Login is partnering with Maine Robotics to provide an Hour of Code “Dojo” room for 2,500 participants and spectators at the Maine’s FIRST® LEGO® League Championship at the Augusta Civic Center on December 14, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. We still have space for volunteers  to cheer on Hour of Code participants of all ages, so please sign up and join us. No experience required.
  • The Reach Center at the Maine Math and Science Alliance is offering a USB wristband loaded with computer science learning resources to youth in grades 5-12 who register, with their parent’s permission, during the week of December 9. The Reach Center is also planning other activities, including a statewide Scratch convention in 2014, so stay tuned.
  • In Yarmouth, parents and community members will coach Middle School students as they explore the Hour of Code tutorials, and IT professionals will be on hand to speak about the importance of software and technology in our everyday lives. For those who complete the hour, sponsors will be providing commemorative t-shirts.
  • Husson University faculty will be visiting schools around Bangor; UNUM professionals will be coaching students at Wells High School; and we’ve also heard about exciting plans at Foxcroft Academy, MSAD 75 in the Topsham region, RSU 3 in the Unity area, and RSU 5 in and around Freeport.
  • Please let us know what you’re planning. Share your activities in our Project>Login LinkedIn Group and see our earlier updates [below] about the Hour of Code in Maine.

After the Hour of Code

When you see that two or more students are sparked by these Hour of Code activities, please consider starting a student-led Coder Dojo club with them, either before, during, or after school. It’s easy to start or mentor a dojo — a growing collection of learning resources is available — and you’ll be helping them join an open source, volunteer led, global movement of free coding clubs for young people. Not to mention, giving them a sneak peek into the future.

Above all, thank you for supporting our young people in Maine!

About Project>Login

Project>Login — a program of Educate Maine — aims to expand the network of computing and IT professionals in Maine through education, information, and internships. The vision of Project>Login is that Maine will have a sufficient and sustainable network of well-prepared professionals to fill high-demand computing and information technology careers in our IT-enabled organizations.

Project>Login’s partners are working to raise public awareness of the profession; retain existing students in related degree programs at Maine’s public colleges and universities; recruit middle and high school students and adult learners to follow pathways toward computing technology careers; and collaborate with professionals to keep up to date on trends and advancements.

Join Project>Login on LinkedIn.

Earlier Update: The Hour of Code is Coming to Maine

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sixteen Maine schools have already pledged to participate, and Project>Login will host an Hour-of-Code Dojo at the Augusta Civic Center December 14

More than 5,000 Maine students will be joining a national campaign to demystify computer science during the Hour of Code week in December, according to the organizers at Code.org.

Scheduled to coincide with Computer Science Week from December 9-15, the national Hour of Code campaign is sponsored by Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn, Mark Zuckerberg, the College Board, Boys & Girls Clubs, and over 100 other partners.

“We want to pull back the veil on this black magic dark art of code that separates you from Mark Zuckerberg,” said Hour of Code founder and former Microsoft exec Hadi Partovi. “Computer science,” added LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman, teaches “problem solving and critical thinking that’s useful anywhere.”

Hour of Code activities are being designed to be simple and self-directed, with no experts required. Samples of computer-based tutorials and group activities are already available. More will be released throughout November.

Maine Schools Offering an Hour of Code

Schools that pledge to offer an Hour of Code to all of their students will be eligible to win laptops, cloud storage, and chats with national tech leaders, including Bill Gates, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, and Susan Wojcicki of Google. Any school can register until November 15 to be eligible.

The following Maine schools have already pledged  (as of November 5) to offer an Hour of Code to all of their students:

  • Edna Libby School, Standish
  • Elm Street School, Mechanic Falls
  • Foxcroft Academy, Dover-Foxcroft
  • Frank H. Harrison Middle School, Yarmouth
  • George E Jack School, Standish
  • HB Emery Jr. School, Limington
  • Lincoln Academy, Newcastle-Damariscotta
  • Lincoln Middle School, Portland
  • RSU 21 (6 schools), Arundel-Kennebunk-Kennebunkport
  • Shapleigh School, Kittery
  • Steep Falls Elementary, Steep Falls

Hour of Code Coming to Augusta Civic Center December 14

Project>Login will host Maine’s first statewide Hour of Code Dojo at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday, December 14, during the statewide FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) championship.

coder_dojo-1.jpegProject>Login’s Hour of Code Dojo will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide online tutorials and group games to demystify computer programming. Admission is free, even for those not attending the FLL event. It is inspired by Coder Dojo, the open source, volunteer led, global movement of free coding clubs for young people.

Over 2,500 students, teachers, parents, and spectators are expected to attend Maine’s annual FLL event — this year called Nature’s Fury — during which 74 teams from Maine elementary and middle schools will compete to demonstrate how robots (and people) can best respond to natural disasters like storms, quakes, and tidal waves.

Project>Login is seeking volunteers to participate in the dojo — no matter their level of expertise — as mentors or even just enthusiastic co-learners. Registration is being coordinated through Maine Robotics. Sign up now!

Everyone Can Participate in the Hour of Code

Even if you aren’t a student, you can take part in the Hour of Code tutorials yourself during the week of December 9-15. Be sure to sign up at the Hour of Code website for updates.

Even better, you can help recruit others to participate — at your school, in your workplace, or in your community. If you are an educator, host the Hour of Code as an activity in your classroom. Check out the participation guide for schools. If you’re an employer or organizer, please host an Hour of Code event as a team-building exercise, an after-school club activity, a public library event, or with another community organization. Check out the guides for organizing workplace and community activities.

Much more information about the Hour of Code is available on their website. You can learn more about the Hour of Code in Maine at Project>Login’s collaboration group on LinkedIn.

About Project>Login

Project>Login is a program of Educate Maine which aims to expand the network of computing and IT professionals in Maine through education, information, and internships. The vision of Project>Login is that Maine will have a sufficient and sustainable network of well-prepared professionals to fill high-demand computing and information technology careers in our IT-enabled organizations.

Project>Login’s partners are working to raise public awareness of the profession; retain existing students in related degree programs at Maine’s public colleges and universities; recruit middle and high school students and adult learners to follow pathways toward computing technology careers; and collaborate with professionals to keep up to date on trends and advancements.

Join Project>Login on LinkedIn.

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