Today is the first day of Computer Science Education Week (#CSEdWeek)! Here at NICERC, we’re super excited for the attention computer science has been receiving over the past year.
As you may already know computer science is all around us. Computer science is more than simply programming computers, computer science is the science of problem solving. When packages and products need to be shipped from one place to another, the movements of those items are determined through a complex series of decisions that fall under computer science. The next time you’re sitting at a red light watching cars pass, those patterns are determined by computer science. (If you’re sitting there too long, it could be because someone didn’t apply the right algorithm!) Commercial airplanes flying overhead; powerful trains moving down the tracks and even letters arriving in the mailbox all owe some gratitude to the field of computer science.
This week we’ll be exploring the many ways our life is impacted by computer science and we’ll also provide you with some great resources to find ways you can integrate some of the fundamentals of computational thinking and computer science in your classroom.
For today, we want to make you aware of a new learning opportunity for students our friends at Code.org released in partnership with Disney to support the new Disney feature animation film Moana. If you’ve never done any programming before, Code.org has some fun games to help understand the steps involved in creating a program to accomplish a mission. With the characters from Disney’s Moana, you can participate in Code.org’s Hour of Code program this week. (There are plenty of other characters and adventures from other movies, cartoons, and games, to choose from as well.) Check out what Code.org has setup for us to explore the power of coding and be sure to come back tomorrow for more computer science activities! Also don’t forget to register if your school is participating in the Hour of Code with your students.
Junior High/Middle School teachers, be sure to check out the NICERC Coding lessons found in the STEM EDA curriculum for lessons on basic algorithms, Scratch programming and HTML Coding.
High School teachers, be sure to register for access to our fun, activity-filled Computer Science curriculum or check out Cyber Literacy for a great intro to text-based programming with the Parallax BoeBots. Both curricula provide lessons that focus on coding but also guide discussions on the implications of computer science and cybersecurity for daily life.