The click-clack sounds of fingers tapping on the keys of laptops filled Amber Wacht’s fifth-grade classroom at Laurelwood Elementary School on the morning of Dec. 8. In recognition of Computer Science Education Week, students were building their computer programming chops during a worldwide event called the Hour of Code. The lesson kicked off with the screening of video clips featuring influential figures, such as President Obama, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, advocating for computer science education.
Later in the week, students worked on open-ended coding where they interacted with more programs, such as Tynker and Scratch, both kid-friendly coding systems.
Michael, 11, smiled as he completed a programming task during the Hour of Code.
“The fact that you’re having fun but learning a computer language makes this thrilling,” Michael says. “I accomplished making a house on level six of the Minecraft program. I messed up a little on the left and right movements but I kept replaying it and figured out what I did wrong.”
“I like the fact that you can type in instructions and the computer does what you want,” says Marushika, 10, on the joys of computer programming. “I just created a house and planted some crops [in my lesson].”
“[If I’m a computer programmer,] I can make games like this Minecraft game and I would be able to understand computers a bit more,” says Sophie, 10. “Today I’ve written about 69 lines of code,” says Enrico, 10, also interested in being a computer programmer.