Texas A&M Hosts Hour of Code Event
AggieSTEM, a collaboration between
the College of Education and Human Development and the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University,
hosted its first Hour of Code event last
The Hour of Code is an initiative launched in 2013 by Code.org to introduce children and adults of all
ages to computer programming during Computer
Science Education Week. More than 50 students from Texas A&M University
participated in AggieSTEM's inaugural Hour of Code event.
Participants completed introductory tutorials designed to demystify computer
programming. This year, Code.org created tuturials that let students animate
characters such as Elsa from the movie Frozen, R2-D2 from Star Wars and
characters from the Minecraft video game. "These tutorials were very engaging
as compared to other coding programs I've worked with," said Janett
Gallegos, an interdisciplinary studies major at Texas A&M, in a prepared
statement. "It definitely got me more excited about programming."
According to information from the university, "only 27 states currently
allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation
credits." However, computer science is the only STEM (science, technology,
engineering and math) field with more job opportunities than students. A
Code.org blog post compares the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics to student data from the National
Science Foundation to find that only about 80,000 computer science degrees
were awarded in the United States in 2009, even though there are more than
150,000 projected annual job openings in computer science for the years 2010 to
Code.org also hopes to get more women involved in computer science.
According to information from Texas A&M, "less than 25 percent of jobs in
technology are held by women and less than 20 percent of bachelor's
degrees in computer science are awarded to women."
The Hour of Code encourages everybody to try computer programming for one
hour during Computer Science Education Week, which was December 7 to 13 this
year. The goal of the initiative is to demystify computer programming and
demonstrate that anybody can learn coding basics. Since the initiative launched
two years ago, more than 166 million people around the world have participated
in the event, and tech companies such as Apple and Microsoft have hosted Hour
of Code events.
Further information about the Hour of Code can be found on Code.org's site.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].