December 11, 2015
Communications and Marketing
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Why would elementary school students participate in an Hour of Code at Saint Anselm College?
Learning by developing their choice of video games ("Star Wars," "Flapping Bird" and "Minecraft" among others) makes it fun. On December 10, fourth graders from Saint Benedict Academy in Manchester, NH and sixth graders from Saint Francis of Assisi School in Litchfield, NH worked with Computer Science students from Saint Anselm doing exactly that as part of the international event.
Ann Tierno, computer teacher at Saint Francis, says the computer science industry is predicted for a deficit of one million jobs by 2020. That puts into sharp focus the benefit of introducing programming to even the youngest of students.
From Saint Anselm, 18 students supported their elementary counterparts by observing and guiding the exercise. They represented classes in the Discrete Math, Digital Literacy and Data Structure curriculum.
"These very young people leave the Hour of Code at Saint Anselm College knowing 'I can do it,'" says Carol Traynor head of the Computer Science Department at the college. "Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. We're hoping to expand our partnership with Saint Benedict and Saint Francis to the extent where the entire schools participate in the Hour of Code. It's important for all students to be exposed to computer science."
Saint Francis joined the Hour of Code program this year; Saint Benedict Academy participated at Saint Anselm in the previous school year. From Saint Benedict, 20 students participated with the support of Ladelle Hauck and Christine Butler. Saint Francis sent six students along with Tierno and her colleague Eric Tremblay.
Hour of Code is an international event involving tens of millions of students in over 180 countries. The event at Saint Anselm was conducted in conjunction with National Computer Science Education Week.