code map

 

Taos Middle School was one of 166,726,959 schools around the world that participated in the national week-long Hour of Code event, designed to get the whole world dedicating one hour to learning code using their fun and easy tutorials.  Launched in 2013, Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.

Thanks to Los Alamos National Laboratory who coordinated a task force of LANL volunteers to send out to schools across Northern New Mexico, we received Jacob Miner, Graduate student/scientist. Jacob lead three one-hour sessions, totaling over 75 students, through the fun and well-designed tutorials of coding Minecraft puzzles and design challenges.  Tracy Galligan sent two high school students  to assist. It was a huge success and the kids loved it. The lead teacher, Christine Garcia, who had never been exposed to coding before this, was already helping students through challenges by the end of the day. Principal Alfredo Cordova visited the classroom and caught the motivational videos that are part of the tutorial, with guest appearances by President Obama, and celebrities such as Jessica Alba.

 

The best part is that this well funded and well-designed website is free and available anytime for anyone to use. They even have more advanced programming tutorials for programs such as Javascript and Python. Some of the students were already moving into advanced courses within the hour!

Special thanks to Dr. Torrez, Jeff Everett and the whole TMS team that made this last minute demo possible. STEMarts LAB is planning to design more programming around this amazing resource so for anyone that missed out this time, stay tuned! Photos coming soon.