Five tips for CS Education Week and the Hour of Code

Computer Science (CS) Education Week is less than a month away (Dec 3–9th). What are you doing to celebrate at your school or organization? This annual celebration of CS is a great way to raise awareness. You can use it as a way to let administrators, parents, community members, and other teachers learn about what your students are studying. The Hour of Code is an excellent recruiting tool to encourage students to try a computer science course and the theme for this year is Creativity! We see tremendous impact across the board, especially for young women.

As you’re thinking about what your school or organization can do, here are five ideas to get you started:

Invite the whole school or district to participate

Organize a schoolwide assembly or after-school drop-in where students can try computer science. Also consider inviting parents to help them understand the work you’re doing to bring CS into your schools.

Let your students lead the way

Pair your computer science students with younger classrooms and give them a leadership opportunity to help organize and run Hour of Code activities with other students. Teaching is a great way for the older students to deepen their understanding, and learning from older students invested in the material will encourage younger students’ interest in CS.

Encourage cross-curriculum integration

We all know computer science can be used in other subject areas — such as creating interactive stories for ELA or reinforcing math concepts such as the coordinate plane. Why not kick start these conversations with CS Education Week? Encourage subject matter teachers in your school to try a lesson that connects CS to their subject areas — partners have created lessons that connect to math, art, journalism, science, and many other subject areas.

Try something new

If you already teach CS at your school, this is a great time to explore something new with your classroom/school. A new tool, concept or application. On HourOfCode.com you’ll find activities from Scratch, CodeSpark, Kodable, CS First, Vidcode, and a host of other fantastic CS ed tech providers.

This map only shows the first 200,000 Hour of Code registered events (https://csedweek.org/).

Do you make software, curriculum or tools to teach CS?

This is a great time to encourage people to try out your curriculum or tools. Let your audience know that CS Education Week is coming up on Dec 3rd and share ideas about how they can use your tools to celebrate — whether as a hack-a-thon, extended project, or for an Hour of Code activity.

Thank you for your support of computer science education and have a wonderful, creative CS Education Week!

Pat Yongpradit
Chief Academic Officer, Code.org