GCISD Students Participate in Hour of Code
Posted on 12/07/2022
GCISD schools are participating in Hour of Code, an annual event led by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming. This year’s Hour of Code week is December 5-11.

At Bear Creek Elementary students rotated through several stations set up in the library on Tuesday, December 6.

“We’re coding robots,” said second grader Kinley Franco as she dragged and dropped digital blocks across her tablet device to create instructions for her robot, Dash. “I like to code because it’s fun.”

At a neighboring station, two other students were working with GCISD’s Executive Director of Technology Dwight Goodwin on programming an electronic mouse to navigate a maze to reach a plastic cheese block.
Nearby, three students were not yet coding, but drawing directional diagrams on an eraser board.

“We’re doing a plan first and then we are going to test it,” said second grader Ivan Aguirre. “If it works, then we are going to see if we can beat it [by navigating through the maze faster].”

“This is our 10th year to do Hour of Code here in GCISD,” said Kyle Berger, the district’s Chief Technology Officer who was also at Bear Creek Elementary helping and observing students as they coded. “We participate in Hour of Code because it’s very important. Today the workforce is changing tremendously. Likely, in this room here, 65 percent of these students will have jobs that don’t yet exist. I hope our approach helps inspire some of our students. You can just see it in their eyes – the excitement about being able to do something different that can open up new opportunities.”

Coding is just one of many technology opportunities for students in GCISD.

“We start technology integration all the way down to kindergarten, even a little bit into preK.” Berger said. “As our students advance in technology here in GCISD, and they get into the middle school and some of our more advanced classes, they get into robotics or esports. As they accelerate into our high school levels, we have large engineering programs, autocad (a commercial computer-aided design and drafting software application), computer science, cybersecurity – all sorts of different things. It’s a gradual path for our students to learn many different aspects of technology as they grow up.”

Technology is much easier to understand for students who have grown up with it as part of their everyday lives.

“A lot of them are used to video games and remote-controlled things so a lot of times we connect it to things they can understand like ‘oh, it’s not intuitive, we have to give it instructions on what to do,’” said Bear Creeklibrarian Michelle Brosi.

For second grader Wyatt Walker, Hour of Code is something that he looks forward to every year.

“I want to grow up to be a person who builds something, like a video game,” he said. “A [video game] has a controller that makes its own code. Here I can make my code.”

Student with robot