California Educator

November 2014

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Know & Tell Resources Computer Science Education Week is celebrated each year during the week of Grace Hopper's birthday (Dec. 9). "Amazing Grace" Hopper, a U.S. Navy rear admiral, was a pioneer in the field of com- puter science. She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I (an early com- puter), and she popularized the idea of machine-independent languages, which led to the de- velopment of COBOL and other programming languages. COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION WEEK IS COMING! C H O O L S A C R O S S T H E country and worldwide will be celebrating the sixth annual Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) Dec. 8-14 to promote public awareness of computer science. Many K-12 computer science classes will be organizing activities such as open houses and field trips to local businesses and colleges. The website offers resources and suggestions for activities posted by teachers. Myra Deister, a teacher of math and computer science at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, says, "I am looking forward to CSEdWeek this year. I already have my eve- ning on the school calendar to introduce the community to online curriculum, and I plan to contact the local junior high schools to promote it to their students. My computer science students are ready to teach computer science to the younger students. Also planned is an open house at lunch to promote computer science." Higher education can reach out to high schools to offer campus tours or student ambassadors, Deister adds. "A few years ago, a student from UC Irvine spoke to my students about his experience as a computer science stu- dent in college and his opportunities. UC Berkeley invites high school classes to their campus and has activities set up for the high school students." A special focus of CSEdWeek is to get millions of students to participate in the Hour of Code, a one-hour introduction to computer science and programming, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. A wealth of material is available f r o m h o u ro fc o d e . o r g , i n c l u d i n g online tutorials in over 30 languages, videos, activities, and curriculum for classrooms that don't have comput- ers. Additional information about professional development is available from the Hour of Code organizing group,, which states: "Anyone, anywhere, can organize an Hour of Code event." Deister believes that every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science as a component of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) because it helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. "For my students, the Hour of Code has given them the opportunity to use their math to solve problems that are posed in the labs. Some elementary teachers stated that their students were so engaged in the Hour of Code activities, they had a difficult time getting them to stop. They also noticed that the students were understanding mathematical concepts quicker than in previous years." S Honoring Grace Hopper 15 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 4

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