The fourth annual Hour of Code kicked off National Computer Science Education Week in Lincoln. More than 800 people gathered for a morning of learning computer code and interacting with technology at the Nebraska Innovation Campus. National Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code were created by Code.org to expand access to computer science. This year’s Hour of Code sponsors include: Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, Lincoln Public Schools, Nebraska Innovation Campus, CodeLNK, Turbine Flats, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and CSTA Nebraska.
People of all ages learned the basics of coding through self-guided tutorials. The tutorials were developed by Code.org and featured popular characters from "Star Wars," Disney's "Frozen," Minecraft LEGO and Angry Birds. Mentors were on-site and available to help the families work through the activities. But families didn't just spend their time on a computer. The Interactive Tech Fair featuring over 20 exhibitors enabled family members to get a hands-on experience with robots, virtual reality and other technology.
“We want to broaden participation and interest in the field of computer science and let kids know that world-class opportunities are here for them in Lincoln,” said Rachel Placzek, Talent Coordinator for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development.
The need for software developers and computer engineers is increasing. According to Code.org, there are more than 517,000 open computing jobs nationwide. And last year, only 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce.