Young Students Teach School Board How to Code1 that it will be joining a nine district consortsium partnership with Code.org which will bring professional development and curriculum to teachers and students exposing them to computer science from an early age throughout high school. Computer Science courses provided by the partnership with Code.org will be offered at PUHSD’s school sites in the 2016-2017 school year.
This partnership comes at the recognition of a pivotal shift in today’s job market. It is estimated that by the year 2024, there will be more than one million unfilled computer science related jobs in the U.S.2 Currently, only one in four schools offers computer science even though nine out of ten parents polled around the U.S. stated that they want their students to learn computer science. Computer science drives innovation throughout the U.S. economy but remains marginalized throughout K-12 education (Code.org). PUHSD and eight other districts in the consortium decided not to neglect the responsibility of teaching students computer science.
PUHSD began introducing its students to computer science by participating in the international “Hour of Code” event created by Code.org. The purpose of this annual event is to expose students to the world of computer science and generate interest in the field by offering a free web based programming platform that anyone with a computer and internet connection could access. Last year, there were 198,474 Hour of Code events around the world reaching tens of millions of students. Since participating in “Hour of Code”, computer programming clubs began at every school in PUHSD to meet the growing interest among students. This year, Pinacate Middle School offered a technology course that taught multiple computer programming languages to over 500 students. With computer science courses being offered at every school site next school year, 1000’s of PUHSD students will learn to code and this is just the beginning.
Over the next ten minutes, the young programmers gave clues and tips to their adult students how to program and navigate the BB-8 robot from Star Wars around a field filled with obstacles. The code required started off simple but gradually increased in difficulty. With their young teacher’s help, the board members quickly passed multiple levels. School board President David Neilssen ended the activity with eight complete lessons with board members Edward Agundez, Joan Cooley, Dr. Jose Luis Araux, and Carolyn Twyman not far behind him.
PUHSD’s Governing Board continues to support a world class education that prepares students to be future ready and productive members of society.