NORTHBROOK, IL —Two Illinois lawmakers dropped in on a local middle school this week to take part in a global effort to demystify computer science and coding. Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and Rep. Jonathan Carroll visited Northbrook Junior High Tuesday for an Hour of Code session during Computer Science Education Week.
District 28 said all its schools are this week participating in special events this week, and each has set aside time for Hour of Code sessions with students and staff. The global campaign says it reaches tens of millions of students with its efforts to broaden participation in the field of computer science.
The two legislators said they were impressed with what they found.
“The thing I really enjoyed seeing is the problem-solving and how they work together,” Sen. Morrison said.”They’re really getting a taste of what programming is like. It’s the beginning stages, but it’s nice to see kids interacting with different technology and learning how to make things work'”
By showing students anyone can pickup the basics of coding, the sessions look to sow the seeds of digital literacy over the long term.
“I think it’s great to see our students using technology and learning with new technology in a fun way,” Carroll said. “We have to encourage our children to understand how technology is going to grow as they grow and, from that, give them the tools and resources to be successful.”
Rep. Jonathan Carroll worked with Joey Mosko on MineCraft application during Hour of Code activities Dec. 5 at Northbrook Junior High (Courtesy District 34)
The Hour of Code we launched in 2013 by Hadi Partovi, who co-founded Code.org with his brother. They grew up in Tehran, Iran where their father, Firouz, was a leading technology professor before moving to New York in 1984, he told Indiegogo.
His dad gave them a computer and told them if they wanted to play video games they would have to build their own. As a result, Partovi wound up learning to program at the age of 10.
Top photo: Sen. Julie Morrison works on building a video game with 6th grade students Rachel Kravtzov and Sasha Aronson.