Everyone is talking about Code.org's Hour of Code national event! I hosted a cluster wide event for the Hour of Code on Monday, December 9th. Our cluster consists of 4 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 1 high school. We are working toward becoming a STEM / STEAM school, so this type of event fits in perfectly, and our cluster principals were very excited about it.
We broke the event into 2 separate hours. The first hour was for elementary school students only. We had hands-on activities as well as labs available for computer activities. Four labs were full of parents and students. It made for a very fun family activity. Elementary and middle school students preregistered for the event by filling out a Google form.
For the hands-on activities, students worked with binary numbers, doing decoding, binary bracelets, binary magic card tricks, and binary tiles. We also built a huge flowchart on the floor. Students walked through the program, flipping coins and rolling dice to determine their path and whether or not they were "Stuck in a Loop". There was an area where students decoded a fax message, and also acted like robots, following directions to stack cups. Approximately 85 students and their families attend the elementary hour. We had a lot of high school students working as volunteers to run the hands-on activities and give directions.
Our second hour was for middle school and high school students. We had approximately 50 student participants and families. They were able to work in our labs on the tutorials.
This was a very successful event for our school. Our students received a lot of praise for the way they worked with the elementary school students. The next day several of them said how much fun they had just spending time with these excited 3rd - 5th graders. Best of all, computer science awareness has risen in our community.
Next year, we are planning to combine the elementary and middle school students together in the evening, and hold our hour of code event for high school during the day by setting up laptops in our lunch area as well as our media center. We didn't have as large of of turn out for high school students and feel we will reach more students this way.