National Hour of Code event encourages students to try coding

Participants from the Hour of Code event in 2017.

January 08, 2018

VINCENNES, Ind. - The Vincennes University Information Technology Department hosted 140 fifth grade students from the South Gibson School Corporation on Dec. 6 for the National Hour of Code event held at VU’s Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch.

An Hour of Code volunteer helping a fifth grader with a coding organizes the annual campaign which has engaged 10 percent of all students in the world and provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science in the largest school districts in the United States.

The event was planned and executed by Information Technology students who first completed a class in Project Management. In addition to computer programming, the fifth graders were engaged with multiple examples of technology, including logic activities, computer hardware, graphic art and design, and cyber security safety.

“Technology encompasses many areas and it is exciting to see college students that want to share their area of interest,” said Jaci Lederman, department chair of Information Technology. “As a volunteer, I share the organization’s value statement that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. My grandfather gave me my first computer as a fifth grader and I was instantly intrigued and challenged by coding commands on the Texas Instruments computer."

Brian Igel, assistant professor of Information Technology, also assisted with the event.

Hour of Code volunteers showing off the programming language used in Minecraft.

Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. These are projected to add about 546,100 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.

"This event is an excellent opportunity to expose 5th grade students to the possibility of having a rewarding career in Information Technology," said Lederman.


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