During the week of December 9 – 13, McKinna students took part in an international event, the Hour of Code. This event was sponsored by the non-profit organization Code.Org. Their message is that coding should be part of every school’s curriculum as it is in England, China and other countries. Hour of Code was supported by both Democrats and Republicans, corporations like Apple, and tech industry giants like Steve Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. By 2020, there will be 1,000,000 coding jobs in the United States, but as of now, there are only about 200,000 programmers. The average computer programmer makes an average of $78,260 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Aside from career and monetary opportunities, coding is fun and it makes you think. Hour of Code’s message to teachers is to tell their classes “Ask three and then ask me.” This message encourages collaboration, creative problem solving and higher order thinking skills – all components of the Common Core State Standards that have been adopted by California and forty-four other states. Participating in events like Hour of Code benefits McKinna students by giving them a head start on tackling these new standards and helping them to become college and career ready.