Grace Hopper, CSEdWeek and Hour of Code
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 08 December 2023

Tomorrow marks the 117th anniversary of the birth of Grace Hopper. Considered "the first lady of software" she was the original figurehead chosen for Computer Science Education Week, which is timed to coincide with her birthday. To celebrate the date we have a cartoon comic that summarizes her story.

 

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Pablo Stanley posted this cartoon back in 2014 commenting

I was so inspired by Grace Hopper that I wanted to pay tribute to this rarely recognized pioneer. Hope she inspires you as much as she inspires me.

Grace Hopper was originally known mostly for her role in developing the COBOL programming language and as the person who coined the term "debugging", but has become widely acknowledged as a pioneer of Computer Science Education and an inspiration to women in STEM. In recognition of these contributions she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by Barak Obama in 2016.

Grace Hopper's name also became more widely known because of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) which was launched in 2009 by the ACM together with a raft of education organisations, the Anita Borg Institute and Google, Intel and Microsoft. Initially CSEdWeek was confined to the US but in 2013 when the first Hour of Code event took place in CSEdWeek, it spread to other countries. 

The Hour of Code has been a success in terms of reaching people and giving them a taste of, and hopefully a taste for coding. Over 10 million people participated in Hour of Code activities in the first year and it has grown to become the largest learning event in history, with over 100 million people participating in Hour of Code activities in 2023.  

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To learn more about Grace Hopper see our history article, Grace Hopper - The Mother of Cobol and this book review, Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 December 2023 )