Hour of Code – Introducing Kids to Computer Programming

I was talking to my wife on the phone yesterday and she said my oldest son Anders (he’s 10 and in 4th grade) was really excited to tell me something. He’s big into Minecraft these days and has been on my case for a long time to start him his own blog. She put him on the phone and he started talking about something called the Hour of Code. Turns out his school is participating in a program through code.org for Computer Science Education Week, and it involves learning how to do some basic computer programming. I’d be lying if I didn’t smile a bit at the fact that he was excited to tell me about this!

When I got home he showed me the handout they had given him:

Hour of Code 1 Hour of Code 2

I’m far from a computer programmer, and most of my coding knowledge is self-taught and came as a result of needing to know a bit of HTML and CSS to make my Blogger blog look the way I wanted it to (that and the bit I learned in elementary school to be able to move  a LOGO turtle around a screen). I know enough to customize a blog, but that’s about it. However, I’ve come to appreciate that programming skill is a pretty handy tool to have in this day and age.

I just checked out the code.org site with my 8yo daughter and it’s a pretty cool resource. She did the first five levels of the Angry Birds challenge and said “this is fun, and learning!” If you have kids with an interest in computers, it’s definitely worth checking out. I may even work through a few of the modules myself!

Below is a video introducing the Angry Birds module from the code.org website:

About Peter Larson

I'm a biology teacher, blogger, and science geek with diverse interests (and experience) in the areas of zoology, anatomy, evolutionary biology, developmental biology, and exercise science. I'm currently expanding my passion for science education by making the jump from higher ed (10 years as a biology professor at Saint Anselm College) to teaching high school biology at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy in Northwood, NH. In addition to being a dedicated teacher, I'm also an avid distance runner - I write about running at Runblogger.com. You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.