|A New Hour Of Code|
|Written by Lucy Black|
|Tuesday, 02 December 2014|
Code.org has partnered with Disney to produce its latest one-hour tutorial in which kids learn to code with Blockly assisted by Anna and Elsa, the heroines from Disney's Frozen.
There is less than a week to go to Computer Science Education Week 2014, during which Code.org aims to reach 100 million people worldwide. The idea is to introduce computer science to every child in school, plus any others in the 4 -104 age bracket.
One of Code.og's statistics from last year's inaugural hour of code is that over 10 million girls took part, pointing out that "More girls tried computer science than in the last 70 years."
Certainly if you turn the clock back 70 years, computer programming was almost exclusively a female preserve. However, it was seen as a more menial job than those done by men in the field of computer science who were generally involved in hardware.
There has been a lot of discussion over the past year about why computer science has become the preserve of men - with a lot of the blame being put on the home computers of the 1980s and 90s which were marketed to appeal to boys in their teens and twenties. Whatever the cause, we now face a problem with a gender gap which appears to be leading to an even more unwelcome gender divide.
This short video introduces this year's Hour of Code and Frozen - the activity that aims to inspire a new generation of girls into computer science:
Given its choice of lead character, Elsa of Arendelle, Code.org's new tutorial, Frozen in which code is used "to explore the magic and beauty of ice" seems designed with girls in mind. But perhaps the theme of rescuing a damsel in distress in hostile environmental conditions, will also appeal to boys.
The activity is an attractive introduction to Blockly, a programming language in which you build up a program from interlocking lines of code. By following the on-screen instructions kids start with one line of code, then two, then more and by Step 20 the results of a short program are really quite impressive.
(click to open inlarger window)
Those kids who have already encountered Blockly may want something more challenging and luckily these resources exist with Code.org’s K-5 Computer Science Curriculum and also with Google's Blockly Games and there are other Hour of Code Tutorials that introduce other languages and aimed at different target groups of students.
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|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 December 2014 )|