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Monday, December 15, 2014

An Hour of Code for a lifelong skill

Take the popularity of the Frozen Disney movie, and add inspirational stories of those in the computer science field, and you could inspire more children to take an interest in learning code." according to Asbury Park Press.

That's the theme of this year's Hour of Code, a free afternoon event that gave children a look into a field that organizers said not only helps develop problem-solving and creativity but is also an in-demand job skill.

President Barack Obama meets with students participating in an 'Hour of Code' event in honor of Computer Science Education Week

"It's becoming a necessity," said Bret Morgan, founder of Cowerks, the host of the event. "Even if you had no intention of pursuing it, you should at least have an exposure to the language of programming. It's part of being a well-rounded individual. Just as you might learn a foreign language or read the classics, but because it is so accessible and in such widespread use, you'd find code helps in all sorts of job fields."

The one-hour introduction to code – an event put together by Cowerks, Jersey Shore Tech and Lakehouse Music Academy – at the Cowerks suite in Asbury Park, is part of a larger initiative to demystify computer programming and encourage its pursuit at an early age.

Code Week, through December 14, had 60,000 events worldwide. The initiative, through, aims to give "every student in every school the opportunity to learn computer science and believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum," according to the website. Computer science fits alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses like biology, physics, chemistry and algebra, organizers said.

However, in New Jersey the classes do not count toward curriculum requirements, said Sean T. Walsh, chief executive officer of Crowd Communications Group, who helped set up the event.

"There's no core requirements for New Jersey. So if we can get them energized at a young age, then come 10 years when they are looking at entering a field they have these basic skills that are increasingly in demand," Walsh said.

By using the characters from Disney's Frozen in the programming lesson, students get an element of fun to what may be the assumed complicated world of code.

Source: Asbury Park Press