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 On December 8th, the first day of Computer Science Education Week, OC Coder’s Hour of Code began. The halls of the classrooms were lined with inspirational posters with quotes from Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama. Students from 2nd grade to 8th grade shuffled to registration, where they were lead to their classrooms, each teaching a specific language. The first floor rooms were easier languages like Scratch, and second floor rooms introduced languages like Python and JavaScript. In addition to the classes, there was also a parent lecture on the importance of computer science given by Dr. Li.

Each of the rooms introduced pair programming in which two students shared a computer to reduce bandwidth issues and increase collaboration. This worked especially well in the Lightbot room, which taught computational thinking , the problem solving method in computer programming, to students as young as second grade.

There were two Scratch rooms, one that used the highly popular Angry Birds characters to teach concepts like if/else statements, and one that used the Scratch website to help students develop their own games with various programming techniques, including loops, if/else statements, and variables. Students were not only excited about programming a game, but were also equipped with the programming basics essential in building a foundation for their future endeavors in computer programming.

In the higher level programming languages like Python and JavaScript, students learned syntax and created simple games like a choose your own adventure game or a rock paper scissors game. Advanced students who already knew some computer programming went to Project Euler, which gave students challenging mathematical problems to be solved using computer programming.

Overall the Hour of Code event was a huge success, allowing over a hundred people to come together to learn computer programming.

Written by Jessica Lee, University High School, Class of 2018