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STEM at School

Discovering a World of Code

Learning To  Code

Code powers our digital world. That’s a good reason to start learning what coding is all about. And it may just be more fun than you imagined.

Behind the scenes, code runs everything from our smartphones to engineering programs to animated films. And since we value understanding how things around us work, we think it’s important to encourage young people to explore coding—the art of writing instructions that allow computers to do all they do.

Besides, early experiences coding have been shown to get students—both girls and boys—interested in computer science and even go on to major in computer science in college. Plus, there is evidence that, at the most basic level, coding can support students’ problem solving and critical thinking.

We’ve found some promising resources about learning to code, and want to share the latest with you here. We would love to hear from you if you have tried any of these yourself, or if you’ve found other good resources to share on this subject.

Hour of Code. Many districts across the Cape Cod Regional STEM Network participated in Hour of Code in December. Sponsored by Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science, the Hour offered lots of different ways for students and teachers of all ages to play with basic computer science, all designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

Made with Code. One of our favorite ideas for doing coding as a group is offered by Made with Code, a Google project that aims for more diversity in computer science. Their site provides cool free kits to support students and others who are interested in coding. The set-up is clear, and the instructions are easy to follow. Each kit provides materials to host your own coding party or afternoon.

Girls who Code. New initiatives to involve young women are being started across the nation. Girls who Code offers immersion experiences and summer programs for girls.

Learning for Teachers. Coding can be a new adventure for teachers, too. Professional development workshops are available to support teachers in this work.  Education Development Center offers an array of workshops in the Boston area, http://masscan.edc.org/workshops-resources, and you might want to check out these Code.org workshops for teachers working in grades K-5.