On Tuesday, December 4, students at The Cove School in Northbrook opened their laptops as well as their minds as they once again took part in the global Hour of Code movement. The annual event, which reaches over ten million students in over 180 countries, seeks to demystify and champion all things computer science.
Cove students had over 150 activities to choose from, participating in fun-filled coding modules centered on everything from Minecraft to Star Wars. Cove’s participation in the event is one of many components of its yearlong STEAM (science, technology, engineering arts and math) program.
Along with help from teachers and staff, Cove was lucky to again welcome computer science expert volunteers during its Hour of Code sessions.
David Lincicome, a Lead Interaction Designer for Web Operations at Pearson in Glenview, has been volunteering at the event for the last three years.
“I like interacting with the kids here. I like to see how they react to the different modules and where they’re at in terms of understanding how to construct the code,” Lincicome said.
As someone who works behind the scenes in computer science, Lincicome said he appreciates how Hour of Code presents the subject not in the dry, text-heavy way but in a visual, interactive and fun way.
Given Hour of Code’s global reach, he said students could also feel a sense of community knowing they are learning coding simultaneously with other students across the nation and around the world.
Cove Technology Facilitator and Computer Science Teacher Patrick Black said the event provides a fruitful introduction to coding for students who may have previously avoided the subject.
“It gets them excited about trying out computer science, learning how to code and then teaches them it’s not as hard as you might think it is,” Black said.
Coding encourages students to use their creativity and problem-solving skills, he said, given its emphasis on thinking logically and sequentially.
Furthermore, Cove students will leave an event like Hour of Code more confident about pursuing computer science in the future, whether as a hobby or as a career.
“I think it gets them possibly excited about trying the coding class that we have in the high school and things like that,” Black said. “There are options for kids as they get older to try out more coding and learn more about it.”