Today marks the beginning of Computer Science Education Week, and more than 100 million students worldwide will participate in the Hour of Code, a 60-minute introduction to computer programming. Hour of Code, initiated by Code.org in 2013, has inspired about 400,000 classrooms to teach computer science classes, says Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi. More than 400 technology and education organizations and 200,000 teachers are Hour of Code participants.
"The ultimate success of the Hour of Code is in changing the stereotype of who can learn computer science, and getting schools to make computer science part of the formal curriculum," Partovi says. He notes online image searches for coders or tech CEOs typically yield a lot of white men, but running a search on students coding returns a broad sample of students of all races and ages, and Hour of Code has played a significant role in that.
The initiative could help close a wide U.S. gap in qualified employees skilled in computer science, as well as the gender gap in technology, says Women Who Code CEO Alaina Percival. In addition to giving young women an unrestricted window into technology engagement, Hour of Code can offer a chance for mentors and teachers to serve as role models, Percival says.
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