Hour of Code: Start Learning Now

Hour of Code


In celebration of Computer Science Education Week (December 8-14, 2014), Code.org is sponsoring and promoting a worldwide Hour of Code. (Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.)

Hour of Code
Hour of Code

In the first year of Hour of Code, over 52 million students completed an introduction to programming! US President Barack Obama recently joined the Hour of Code and wrote his first lines of JavaScript. Hour of Code events are planned all over the world, and this year’s goal is to have 100 million participants.

Where to Sign Up

To try your first Hour of Code, visit http://code.org/learn to choose a fun game-based tutorial (featuring Angry Birds and Disney’s Frozen), or find a tutorial app to download. There’s even a way to learn code on paper if you’re unplugged.

Want more choices? take a look at https://www.khanacademy.org/hourofcode for an introduction to drawing with JavaScript, HTML/CSS for web pages, or SQL databases. The tutorials are easy to follow, and free of charge!

Feeling especially motivated to help? Organize a local Hour of Code event or camp. Sign up and start planning here.

Continue with Free Coding Lessons

Of course, the whole idea behind Hour of Code is to cultivate desire and enthusiasm for learning programming. So if you love your first hour, there are plenty of next-step code lessons available at Khan Academy, and they’re all free.

Girls Who Code Summer Camp

1-girls-who-code-cornell
Girls Who Code photo from the program’s Facebook page

Hey, smart and computer-savvy girls! If you’re looking for an amazing and educational summer camp, check out the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion program!

The program provides an intensive training experience in robotics, web design and mobile development for girls in their sophomore and junior years of high school. In addition to classroom instruction, participants receive mentoring from female professionals, and take field trips to tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program curriculum is designed and research-proven to engage and encourage young women in computer science. Each topic, activity and speaker is chosen to empower the young women with the skills to contribute to their schools and communities.

For more information on Girls Who Code, or to apply for the summer immersion program, visit the site.

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Educational Robot Toy – Science Gift Idea!

My daughter saw this solar robot kit in our Hearthsong catalog, and she is hoping Santa will bring it for Christmas. Ever since she saw the movie Wall-E, she’s wanted her own robot!

This one is a solar powered robot that can be configured into 14 different shapes. It includes parts that allow it to move on land and/or water. And it does bear somewhat of a resemblance to Wall-E! It’s $31.98 at HearthSong.

From the description:

Our solar-powered pal can assume 14 different modes, ranging from comical to educational, including a wagging-tail dog, running beetle, walking crab, surfer, and speedster. Yet it asks only for direct sunlight.

Here’s a video that shows how the robot works.

I’m kind of hoping Santa brings this robot for my daughter for Christmas. And maybe an extra one for me!

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The Walking Dead: Online Class

I’ve been infected! I’m obsessed with “The Walking Dead,” the zombie apocalypse television series on AMC. The show has just entered its fourth season, and I’ve found a scholarly extension to enhance my zom-pocalypse enjoyment and expertise.

The Walking Dead course header
The Walking Dead course header

I’m taking the online course called, “Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead,” via the Canvas Network. The class is free and online, taught by faculty from UC Irvine. There are video lectures, reading modules, video clips from “The Walking Dead,” and interviews of cast members. I’ve just completed the first week’s work, and it was quite enjoyable and interesting.

The Walking Dead (season 2)
The Walking Dead (season 2) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The course uses examples from “The Walking Dead” to examine the way people live during survival situations. It’s a multi-disciplinary approach, examining “themes from the social sciences, health sciences, physics, and mathematics…”

Course topics include:

  • Foundation of Survival
  • Public Health and Infectious Diseases
  • Deconstructing Society
  • Social Identity
  • Modeling a Zombie Outbreak
  • Thriving on a Post-Apocalyptic Diet
  • New Materials and The Science of Damage Control
  • The Science of Hope

Not only do I enjoy having an excuse to watch “The Walking Dead” every week (it’s educational!), but I really do find it fun and rewarding to exercise my brain and learn some new things. If you’re interested in the course, go sign up. And let me know what you think!

 

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