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Hour of Coding

Students in Christine Groven and David Suarez’ first grade class at W.L. Morse sat at their desks and concentrated on the task before them – helping Pixel the dog find his family. This may sound like a simple computer game, but it more -  the lesson teaches coding. 

In order for the children to complete each level, they must program Pixel to run and jump by moving bars with commands across the screen. “Coding is similar to a set of directions, “said Technology Teaching Assistant Meghan Hak “This teaches them critical thinking skills in a friendly manner and when they make mistakes, they can try again.”

This “Hour of Coding” is part of Computer Science Education Week, a global initiative that involves students in more than 180 countries and introduces them to the basics of coding. The goal is to inspire students to pursue careers in computer-related fields.

Tuesday was the first time these students studied coding and the children caught on quickly. “The games are fun,” said first-grader Sebastian Espinoza. “Sometimes I get to high levels but sometimes it is tricky.”

Groven observed how enthusiastic her students were about the game. “This connects the students with our math lessons. It teaches them problem solving skills and encourages them to take risks.”