Partnership with Hour of Code to Increase Learning Accessibility of Important Coding Skills for Santa Clara County Children
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – Computer coding, a system of signals representing letters or numbers which are then transmitted electronically to a computer to complete a task, is becoming increasingly important in today’s electronic world as well as the skills and knowledge needed to write and create these codes. In an effort to combine Silicon Valley’s growing need for skilled tech workers and the unique ability for local libraries to provide classes free of charge in a safe learning environment, County of Santa Clara Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Chair of the Santa Clara County Library District Board is spearheading the effort of offering robust, free of charge coding programs for youth throughout the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) seven community libraries, starting December 3.
“The earlier a girl or boy can learn to code, the more ingrained and helpful these skills will be,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Mike Wasserman, the champion behind leveraging County libraries availability to make coding classes free and accessible to Santa Clara County children. “We wouldn’t expect future doctors to take their first biology classes in college; why should future tech workers wait to learn these fundamental skills until much later in their studies? They shouldn’t!”
Anticipating the current and future job market needs, parents, schools and libraries are joining a worldwide effort to increase the availability of computer science coursework and coding classes to millions of students. The Santa Clara County Library District is partnering with “The Hour of Code,” https://code.org/learn, a global movement that has introduced tens of millions of students in over 180 countries to computer science and computer programming through a one-hour introduction course. First introduced by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org (a non-profit company dedicated to expanding access to computer science), the movement has gained momentum and is now in its 3rd year.
“Although we live in the heart of Silicon Valley, with high tech companies in every city, not all students living here are exposed to computers and computer programming in their own homes,” said Gail Mason, SCCLD Library Services Manager, Adult and Teen Services. “Our goal is to help teach students from all backgrounds learn the fundamentals of computers and inspire them to acquire new skills in an exciting and fun environment, which will ultimately empower them to succeed in a world that is becoming increasingly digital.” Mason highlighted the Library’s annual Teen Hack-a-thons and its ongoing ‘Girls Who Code’ events among the most popular with the County’s teen audience.
2015 had as many as 7 million job openings that required coding skills, with programming jobs overall growing “12% faster than the market average,” according to a report from Burning Glass Technologies, a job market analytics firm from Boston, MA. The Pew Research Center revealed in a recent social and demographic trends article that an overwhelming 85% of people think that to become more successful it is critical for today’s workers to have a “mixture of technical and ‘soft skills’,” such as a thorough understanding of how to use computers.
During the week of December 5-11, 2016, all SCCLD libraries will be hosting at least one Hour of Code event. In addition, SCCLD libraries offer these ongoing Computer Science and Coding Classes:
Coding Classes and Hour of Code Scheduled Events at SCCLD
· Hour of Code: Wednesday, December 7th, at 5pm. During a coding class on artificial intelligence and game mechanics, participants will design their own version of the classic game Pong. There will also be an Atari Home Pong unit from 1975 for display and use for participants to play and compare their design with that of the original.
· CodeF1rst: Saturday, December 17th from 10a.m.—1p.m. Teen Program
· Girls Who Code: meets weekly. Requires pre-registration. Every Thursday evening through February 2017
· Introduction to Arduinos: Presented by the Cupertinker Space on February 5, 2017 and February 12, 2017 in the Library Story Room from 2-5 p.m.
· Teen Hackathon/CU Hacks (once a year): Cupertino Library’s FREE hack-a-thon event for teenagers ages 14 – 19. A collaborative community event fostering STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) learning skills while providing teen coders first-hand experience in joining together in an engaging, interactive environment as they create beneficial applications. Coming Summer 2017.
· Hour of Code: Cupertino’s Girls Who Code group will participate in the 2016 Hour of Code.
· Hour of Code: Wednesday, December 7th at 4p.m., Grades 3-6 join in on the fun! Use blocks of code to complete a fun challenge. Learn coding basics in just one hour. Sign up at the upstairs information desk (held annually).
· Miss CEO: Learn essential skills like networking, effective communication, negotiation and much more! The Miss CEO Gilroy Club is affiliated with Miss CEO, an international organization dedicated to empowering young women with the ultimate leadership toolkit, mentorship, and career exploration opportunities.
· Steam Robotics classes: check Gilroy Library Events Calendar for dates.
Los Altos Library:
· Los Altos Hour of Code: Monday Dec. 5 at 3:30 p.m.
· SCRATCH class: December 19, 21, 22 and 27, 28, 29 at 3:30 p.m. (Scratch is a free programming language and online community where one can create interactive stories, games, and animations.
· PYTHON in January 2017: January 14, 21, 28 at 4 p.m.: (Python, an open-source general-purpose interpreted programming language available for a broad range of operating systems.)
· JAVA in March 2017: (a general-purpose computer programming language): – March 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 4 p.m.
· Hour of Code: Wednesday, December 7th at 4 p.m. in the Milpitas Computer Lab. (Middle School level)
· Java Coding Class: December 3rd from 1:30-3 pm in the Milpitas Computer Lab. (taught by Math and Coding.)
Morgan Hill Library:
· Hour of Code: Tuesday, December 6th at 4p.m.
· Hour of Code: Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 1:00—2:00pm
· CoderDojo Coding Club: an open learning environment featuring a different coding language at each table: Teens collaborate with others interested in the coding language they are interested in. They bring a project or start something new and help each other with projects. Adult mentors are available for assistance. Students 11 – 17 years of age/Teens bring their own laptop or borrow one from the library. Seating is limited, registration is required. Meets monthly on the third Sunday, but is currently on break for the holidays and will resume in January 2017.
· Teen Hackathon – High school students sign up in groups of 3-5 on the library website. They put their programming skills to the test in an all-day hacking event and present their work to a panel of judges in the afternoon: The three best teams win a prize! This is a semi-annual event, planned again for March 2017.
For additional information on SCCLD Coding Classes or Computer Science related events, visit http://bit.ly/2beCAlG
Visit the Library District website for more information about Library services at www.sccl.org.