“Learn computer science. Change the world.” That’s the message from the Hour of Code, a global movement in more than 180 countries to teach children computer coding basics. Landon’s Lower School is participating in the event held annually to coincide with Computer Science Education Week. One unique part of the Landon experience is that Upper School students are helping the youngest Bears learn coding.
“It accomplishes two goals actually,” said Dr. Tara Northcott, Landon’s Upper School educational technologist and computer science teacher. “Code.org does a great job of setting up the students to embrace and understand the building blocks of coding through ‘drag and drop’ and other easy-to-learn hands-on games and tutorials.”
“We also create an opportunity for our Upper School students to work directly with our Lower School students as mentors. Our youngest Bears love computers and games, but they also get really excited when they can do it with someone they look up to,” she added, thanking Jordan Dinesman ’20, Patrick Kielb ’20, David Ramthun ’21, Erick Speight ’21, and Ethan Tun ’21 for taking time from Upper School lunch to work with the boys.
According to Code.org, the Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science that set a goal to show anyone could learn the basics of coding as well as to broaden interest and participation in the field.
“It’s pretty self-explanatory, and the boys take right to it,” said Northcott. “And we have created a resource tile with lots of links on BearNet, so families can enjoy this program together over winter break or any other time.”