Hour of Code - Program Supported by Government and Industry Leaders

The White House, along with Microsoft and Apple, among other companies and individuals, are supporting "The Hour of Code." Using the Code.org learning platform, President Obama wrote his first line of code. Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi commented, “We’re thrilled that the President accepted our invitation to try the Hour of Code. In the past year, we have led an ambitious campaign fueled by millions of parents, students and educators, who support a simple idea, that  every student, in every school, should have the opportunity to learn this foundational field.” The Hour of Code is a grassroots movement organized by Code.org and nearly 200 partner organizations to introduce computer programming to all students worldwide, to remove the veil of mystery and show that anybody can learn the basics.

This week, 76,000 classrooms across 180 countries will learn Hour of Code tutorials, joining 53 million students of all ages who have already participated since the campaign’s launch one year ago on December 9, 2013. The campaign has doubled classroom participation from its first year, aided by the translation of lessons into over 30 languages and international partnerships in the United Kingdom, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Romania and Albania.
Beyond the Hour of Code: a Public-Private Partnership
Today at the White House, Mr. Partovi and National Science Foundation Director France Cordova announced a public-private partnership to expand computer science in U.S. schools.
Code.org announced record adoption of its programs in K-12 schools:
·        Partnerships with over 60 public school districts, including all seven of the largest districts, to add computer science to the formal curriculum. These districts collectively reach 4M students, including nearly 15 percent of the African American and Hispanic American student population.
·        Record funding and commitments to expand to 25,000 classrooms: $20 million in new funding for 2015-16 from corporations and foundations and individuals including Microsoft, Google, Ballmer Family Giving and Omidyar Network. Code.org will use the funds to bring computer science to 25,000 new classrooms by September 2016.
·        A break-through commitment to diversity. 1 million girls, 1 million African American and Hispanic students:  Code.org announced a commitment to teach one million girls and one million African American and Hispanic students a full introductory course in computer science. In Code.org’s elementary and middle school courses today, 41% of students are girls, and 37% are African American or Hispanic; in high school 34% are girls, and 60% are African American or Hispanic.
Statements by President Obama:http://youtu.be/JDw1ii7aKwg
Try the Hour of Code:http://code.org/learn
About Code.org:
Code.org® is a 501c3 public non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Its vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming. After launching in 2013, Code.org organized the Hour of Code campaign – which has introduced d 52 million students to computer science to date – and partnered with more than 30 public school districts nationwide to expand computer science programs. Code.org is supported by philanthropic donations from corporations, foundations, and generous individuals, including Microsoft, The Ballmer Family Giving, Omidyar Network and others.

Computer science education lays the foundation for many high-paying jobs today and those that will be created in the future.  Across business sectors and around the country, America’s most innovative companies are facing a national challenge in finding the high-skilled workers they need to compete, particularly in fields like computer science.  In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that between 2010 and 2020, approximately 60 percent of math and science job openings will be in computing professions.  Despite this trend, fewer than 2.4 percent of college students graduate with a degree in Computer Science.  To maintain U.S. competitiveness and innovation, it is imperative that our nation’s young people have access to and pursue the education and skills training needed to adequately prepare for these jobs.  

States should also continue efforts to make computer science education count toward high school graduation credit, a goal Microsoft and Code.org have long advocated.  Last year, Microsoft deployed a team to work state-by-state on this mission.  As a result, ten more states have joined this effort.  We celebrate this achievement, but we do so recognizing that only 25 states and the District of Columba have clear, publicly accessible policies allowing rigorous computer science courses to satisfy existing high school graduation requirements for mathematics or science.  Such policies go a long way to expanding the pursuit of computer science.  States that count computer science as a core graduation requirement see 50 percent more enrollment in their AP Computer Science courses as well as increased participation from underrepresented minorities.  For our nation to succeed and to sustain our global competitiveness, it is time to ensure that U.S. students are prepared to compete for highly technical computer jobs. 

In September, we embarked on the third year of Microsoft YouthSpark, announcing the expansion of technology education efforts to help address the rising tide of global youth unemployment.  As part of that effort, we are nearly doubling the size of our Technology Education And Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program.  TEALS is a grassroots program that recruits, trains, mentors, and places high tech professionals from across the country into high school classes as volunteer teachers.  Through the TEALS program, Microsoft will place software engineers as volunteers in 131 high schools across 18 states and the District of Columbia.  Fourteen schools in our area now have TEALS classrooms, with three new schools added this year in Northern Virginia.     

This Computer Science Education Week, I encourage everyone – legislators, students, and teachers alike – to take part in the Hour of Code, discover the fun of coding and, more importantly, how it can be a catalyst to create and achieve great things.  Everyone starts somewhere.  This week offers the opportunity to get your start in computer science.  To join us in this effort, please visit csedweek.org. 

President Barack Obama participates in Hour of Code at the White House on Monday, December 8 with middle school students from Newark, N.J.’s South Seventeenth Street School, Code.org co-founder Hadi Partovi and CTO of the U.S., Megan Smith. Credit: Code.org
Code.org Teaches President Barack Obama to Learn to Code, Joining 53 Million Students in Global Hour of Code Campaign
Code.org Announces Partnerships with Seven Largest School Districts Reaching 4 Million U.S. Students, $20 Million in New Funding and Partnership with National Science Foundation to Expand Computer Science Education