Dec 08, 2020

Grant Wood Area Education Agency Leads the Next Generation of Programmers in an Hour of Code

Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 7-13, 2020. The goal of this movement is to show students computer science can be a powerful tool in improving our day-to-day lives. The events of 2020 have proven this concept, with area classrooms entering into virtual learning and Hour of Code 2020 Dec 7 - Dec 11 Grant Wood A E Aadapting with new online resources, many of which have been developed this year.

Grant Wood Area Education Agency is spearheading local Hour of Code events. Corey Rogers is a member of Grant Wood AEA’s digital learning team and has connected classrooms in its seven county service area with industry leaders in the field of computer science. Throughout the week of Dec. 7-13, students from Pre- K to high school will be led by these professionals in an Hour of Code, with the hope of inspiring our next generation of talented programmers.

Some industry partners involved this year include NewBoCo, Leepfrog Technologies, and Limolink. All these Iowa-based organizations will demonstrate to students how they solve problems with computer science. Grant Wood AEA’s own computer science staff also will lead an Hour of Code. Myka Forrest is a programmer for Grant Wood AEA who will lead students at Norway Intermediate School in Benton Community. 

“While I personally didn’t start coding until college, the teacher I connected with says she has been doing programming activities with her fourth graders all year.” explains Forrest. She described how intimidated she felt in college, being one of the few women in her class. “Women are still in the minority in computer sciences. Hour of Code is a great way to get everyone interested in the field early on.”

Grant Wood AEA Chief Administrator John Speer added, “Although the event will look a little different this year, with many schools meeting virtually, it is Grant Wood AEA’s hope to use this effort to help inspire the next generation of IT professionals.” Speer is also the co-chair of ICR Future, a coalition of educators and employers with the goal of strengthening Eastern-Iowa’s future workforce. 

Districts can host an 'hour of code' any time throughout the year and use Grant Wood AEA's resources to make it easy to get it done.