Code Iowa" works in partnership with Code.org's "Hour of Code," which is an opportunity for every student to try coding for one hour during Computer Science Education Week (CSEd Week) from December 5 to 11, 2016. The national campaign comes after an obvious job demand: Currently, only roughly 43,000 computer science graduates are trained and available to fill more than 500,000 computing jobs in the nation (Code.org).
Last year, 590,000 Iowans tried an hour of code during CSEd Week with more than 100 million people involved around the world. Code.org believes introducing computer programming to students (even for an hour) will change the statistics to meet the demand of a society that is dependent on the innovation and economic growth that stems from computer science and coding.
The “Code Iowa" partnership—thanks to a $40,000 gift from Google and Verizon this year—helps generate interest and participation from Iowa educators, school districts, community organizations, parents and students with the hopes of establishing a continued interest to incorporate computer science into schools and afterschool learning environments across the state.
The STEM Council, Google, Verizon and Code.org has helped award 18 Iowa schools for their participation in the "Hour of Code" since 2014 and created Certified Code Iowa Partners, a resource of interested educators in taking computer science beyond an hour in the classroom.
This year, the Southeast Region awarded Grant Wood Elementary in Iowa City $3,500 to bring innovative computer science experiences to students. Tricia Carty, the teacher librarian at Grant Wood, said, "we don't often see the levels of engagement in a learning activity like that created by Hour of Code." The $3,500 will be used to enhance their makerspace lab and enhance after school opportunities. "I am excited to see what they can imagine, design and create," commented Carty. We're excited to see too!