HAZARD — Teach For America celebrated Computer Science Education Week by having a Hour of Code at Hazard High School. The one hour introduction to the basics of computer science was an effort by Teach For America to raise awareness about Computer Science. Students with Anne Kuhnen’s Algebra 1 class participated in the Hour of Code.
By 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there will be 4.5 million computing-related jobs, of which 1.3 million will be vacant. Despite this estimate, there are only a small amount of schools across the U.S. that offer computer science related classes.
Teach For American hopes by having these one hour introductions, students will learn the opportunities that careers in computer science could offer them.
At the beginning of the Hour of Code, Kuhnen asked the class to list three different types of jobs a person could get with a computer science degree. Some of the jobs that the students said were: a teacher, an accountant, work for NASA, graphic designer, an engineer, and an architect.
The students used a computer program called Scratch to create an Angry Birds type game. Students had 20 challenges to compete, and each challenge got increasingly harder.
“It’s fun, but confusing,” said Sophomore Bryan Williams. This was William’s first time coding. He also plays for HHS’s soccer team.
“The highlight of my day is when I get to go home and sit on Xbox all day,” joked Williams.
Only one of the students in the class was able to complete all 20 challenges.
This is Kuhnen’s second year participating in the Hour of Code. She has been teaching at HHS for three years now. Originally from Texas, Kuhnen moved here by being a part of Teach For America.
“I want my students to not graduate without having ever tried coding, causes I mean the chances of them choosing to major in computer science is really not very high if they have no experience with it. So, I don’t want them to be at a disadvantage of not having a lot of experience with computers and technology,” said Kuhnen.
The STLP program at HHS created a coding team this year. They made an app for Android that gives the user funny pick up lines.
“These students can go take a class at the high school to learn like Microsoft technology and stuff like that, but they are not really learning how to code anything… We started a coding team,” said Kuhnen.
Other schools within the Hazard Independent School Systems also took part in the Hour Of Code.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.