Faculty and students from the LSUS Computer Science department recently shared a special “Hour of Code” with students at Eden Gardens Magnet Elementary School. As part of Computer Science Education Week, the department offered a fun, hands-on coding activity with approximately ninety 5th grade students.
LSUS Assistant Professor Dr. Roger Zhao coordinated the event with Eden Gardens Computer Lab teacher, Zara Collins. All from the LSUS Computer Science department, Dr. Urska Cvek (LSUS Professor), Eric Clifford (graduate student), Billy Tran (graduate student), and Alliebarton N. Wise (undergraduate student) joined them to formulate the “Hour of Code” team.
“We are very excited to be a part of this fun and educational activity,” Dr. Zhao said. “Kids learn how to code and we learn how to teach ‘young programmers’ better. It’s also a great opportunity for all of us to grow and cultivate stronger community relationships.”
The “Hour of Code” began as a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to demystify coding, show that anybody can learn the basics, and expand participation in the industry. It has since evolved into a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities and expanding to varying community efforts. The event takes place annually during Computer Science Education Week in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). Over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide support this grassroots campaign.
The team guided students to understand instructions, coding, and debugging. It was especially rewarding to observe moments where the students saw their code work and realized they can quickly design and play their own games.
“I wasn’t sure we could make it happen when I reached out to the LSUS Computer Science Department,” Collins said. “It pleasantly surprised me that a whole team of computer science professionals joined the activity! We really appreciate their engagement, and we are looking forward working together with them in the future to bring more coding opportunities to our students.”
LSUS is no stranger to the “Hour of Code” community effort. Dr. Cvek led the first “Hour of Code” team at South Highland Elementary Magnet School in their kindergarten classes in 2013.