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Sunset Park Hour of Code- In the News

posted Dec 7, 2016, 1:01 PM by Jennifer Hertneky   [ updated Dec 7, 2016, 1:03 PM ]
Sunset Park's participation in the hour of code made the news yesterday! Please see the enclosed article! Thanks to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers for encouraging our students to learn to code and opening up your classrooms for this amazing opportunity! 


Cracking the 'Code’ 



Some call it the largest learning event in history.

A sea of students holding laptop computers at Sunset Park Elementary School filled a fifth-grade classroom Tuesday prepping for the Hour of Code, a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries.

The program 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.

The Hour of Code took place Tuesday during Computer Science Education Week, Mondaythrough Sunday.

Paula Herraez, Pueblo City Schools (D60) 21st Century Skills coach, said it helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. “We are really excited to move ahead in technology and really provide these opportunities for our kids because really, this is the future. We just want to plant the seeds for future careers in technology,” Herraez said.

She said by starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.

Students were programming in order to learn logical sequencing, problem solving and critical thinking.

Sunset Park Principal John Hull said the program would not work at the school had it not been for the school’s Parent Teacher Community Association booster club.

“We had two (computer) labs from the district and now we have five more because of our booster club. That makes this possible. They’ve been working hard so these kids have these opportunities.”

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students also were participating in a number of coding activities that allowed them to work on several different and popular video games. Herraez said other schools in the district also have worked in the program.

“It has a pretty good following. This is our third year of doing it. We want to build momentum,” Herraez said.

The district has contracted with Summit Education Group to help run the program and show students the field of coding.

Anne Maldonado, vice president of Summit’s business services, said 524,000 jobs in the United States a year are computer science driven.

“Only 14,000 students who graduate in the U.S. go on to those 524,000 jobs, so it is a huge need,” Maldonado said.

“We are pushing ensuring that students across the U.S. are getting involved in computer science because by the year 2020, that will double.”

Maldonado said the state of Colorado is one of only 14 states that allows computer science credit in high School.

“Those students typically go on to college and earn a job in computer science. With technology right now the trend is computer science jobs across the country,” she said.

“Right now the student in elementary school is more advanced in technology than any of us were 20 years ago. In order to keep up in education, you’ve got to be focused on technology.”

Jennifer Hertneky,
Dec 7, 2016, 1:01 PM