The careers of tomorrow are here today.
Advances in technology have put computers not only at the forefront of most business operations but the driving force for their existence. While understanding computer science takes a great deal of comprehension and learning over time, it’s also something that can be taught and developed at an early age.
Lincoln participated once again in this year’s worldwide event known as Hour of Code. The 7th Annual Hour of Code held on Saturday, December 7, was another event for all ages, hosted by the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, Lincoln Public Schools Computer Science, Nebraska Computer Science & Engineering, Nebraska Innovation Campus and Turbine Flats.
The event in Lincoln was another smashing success with over 800 people in attendance, with children and adults of all ages learning more about the basics of coding and computer science. As future career paths are identified, many of them involve a basic understanding of how computers function and how many jobs depend on that knowledge.
“We keep hearing that we are in a tech crisis from our state and community leaders,” according to Kaylie Hogan-Schnittker, LPED Director of Talent Strategy. “Having the Hour of Code event gives everyone a great introduction into computer science whether you’re a boy or girl, 6 or 60 years old.”
“Technology is for everyone and Hour of Code confirms that message.”
With so many community partners invested in this event and the continued development of tomorrow’s workforce, numerous exhibits were featured to highlight just how many different areas computer science can encompass when it comes to jobs and careers.
“From virtual reality to robotics, there was a great representation of organizations that want to invest in the city and in its people,” says Hogan-Schnittker.
Innovation Campus was the site once again for this year’s Hour of Code event, which was part of the worldwide effort taking place from December 9-15, spanning over 180 countries, 45 languages and nearly 120,000 registered events.
The one-hour introduction to computer science carries the goal of not only bringing an introduction to young learners but to also demystify code, showing that a grassroots effort to educate can bring positive benefits to communities.
Lincoln has certainly seen those benefits.
“The Hour of Code gives kids the opportunity to learn the basics about problem solving, communication, critical thinking and creativity,” according to Kent Steen, curriculum specialist for Computer Science Education at Lincoln Public Schools.
“Computer science remains a really high-demand career area but no matter what they do, it’s important to develop those critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are required in many, if not all fields.”
Tutorials on coding are presented on not only PCs, but also on smartphones and tablets. Although geared toward elementary and middle school-aged students, the Hour of Code continues to be a hit with people of all ages.
“Both children and adults commented on how much they enjoyed the event and that they couldn’t wait for next year. They thought it was informative and exciting,” Hogan-Schnittker adds.
The work of so many goes into Lincoln’s Hour of Code event each and every year. The contributions of non-profits, such as Girls Code Lincoln, Lincoln City Libraries, Lincoln Children’s Museum and so many others, make this an event to strengthen our community by providing an educational and worthwhile gathering.
LPED is proud to work with our local partners for the continued expansion of Lincoln’s Hour of Code event, making it one of the most attended in the area. Mark your calendars for Lincoln’s next Hour of Code, set to take place in December 2020!