RUSD Students Participate in an Hour of Code


Introducing computer science

The Higher Expectations IT Network helped to bring an #HourOfCode to Racine Unified students this week in partnership with the non-profit organization, HustleDreamCode. Kids at Dr. Jones Elementary, Julian Thomas Elementary, and Red Apple Elementary have the opportunity to spend an hour learning about the basics of computer science through a fun coding activity. At an assembly at Julian Thomas Elementary, Mayor Cory Mason and Representative Greta Neubauer spoke about the importance of having more young people, women, and people of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds pursuing careers in technology. 

Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts, and over one hundred million students have participated in an Hour of Code worldwide. By exposing students to the basics of coding, we are nurturing problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students can have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.

From the Journal Times:

In the school’s crowded library, kindergarten and first grade students huddled in front of laptops in pairs, working to move Lightbot from lighted square to lighted square. The youngsters stared at their computers in concentration, argued with their partners over the right moves and cheered in celebration when they got the moves rights as they played the online game that teaches users programming logic.

“Their level of excitement has excited me,” said Racine Unified Superintendent Eric Gallien, who attended the event on Thursday.

Higher Expectations for Racine County, along with Dream Hustle Code, a Chicago nonprofit, worked together to bring the Hour of Code pilot program to all students at Red Apple, Julian Thomas and Dr. Jones elementary schools last week. After seeing the results, Gallien said he hopes to expand the program next year.

Read more coverage: Elementary students introduced to new language in 'Hour of Code'

Elizabeth Erickson