Students engage in ‘hour of code’ as introduction to computer science

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- This week, millions of students around the world are learning computer programming by doing an "hour of code" in their classrooms. Argentine Middle School received a $10,000 grant to buy more laptops so kids can learn computer science.

The idea is to demystify computer code for kids who love using Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram but don't understand how the programs work.

Tutorials show these middle schoolers that anyone can learn the basics of computer programming. This is part of computer science education week, where Code.org, a non-profit with support from big tech companies like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, have created free online courses so that every student can learn computer science.

Last year, more than 10 million girls tried computer science through an hour of code. That's more girls learning programming than in the last 70 years combined.

"It's important because that's where jobs are," said Katie Don Carlos, a math teacher at the school. "They can get out of school and get really good jobs doing that. It also ties into our math curriculum because they are learning to persevere through problem solving. They are learning to put things in a logical order and sequence things. They are learning problem solving skills that just tie right in to the math curriculum."

Fifteen million students worldwide are expected to learn an hour of code this week. By starting young, kids gain a foundation for success and a career path to jobs we know will be in demand in the future.

In addition to nurturing problem-solving skills, teachers say learning to write code helps develop logic and creativity among students.

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