Coding Education @ HackHighSchool
“Everyone should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” This was said by Steve Jobs more than 20 years ago but it still rings true today. Despite moving towards a knowledge-based economy, a lot of high school students still miss out on learning these skills. According to Exploring Computer Science, computer science is the only STEM field in the United States where we have observed a decrease in student participation in the past 20 years. In California, less than 1% of the student population took an AP exam in computer science. At the same time, the amount of jobs in the computer science field is expected to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for software developers is expected to grow 24% from 2016 to 2026. This is much faster than the average for all occupations.
HackHighSchool is committed to increasing the number of students who are exposed to computer programming by providing free coding education for students ages 13-18. Our goal is to help them learn to code and to learn digital skills for the 21st century. The main program, HackHighSchool, runs every Saturday from September to May. Our summer camp will run for six weeks this year with five levels of classes to choose from. On May 19th we had an End of Year Showcase and party for HackHighSchool students who have completed the introductory curriculum.
End of Year Showcase
The showcase exhibited 22 student projects that were based on various coding subjects that the students learned while participating in HackHighSchool. There were around 100 to 150 attendees and everyone who came had a right to vote on their favorite project. Prizes were given away to the popular choice winners of the showcase. The first place winner was a fractal project, second place winner was a pi game project, and the third place winner was an android app project. 42 students who serve as HackHighSchool mentors were present at the showcase. They were eager to show support to the students that they have gotten to know over the past few months.
Party @ 42
The party was fun and high energy. Kwame Yamgnane, Co-founder and Managing Director of 42, talked to the students about our school. Servane Demol, Founder and Executive Director of Code for Fun, talked about their nonprofit. The HackHighSchool donors, who own Sierra Circuits, also spoke to the students and presented a giant novelty check to show their support.
There were two main activities at the event. One activity involved voting for projects. The other involved commercial coding games where we encouraged participants to go around and work on puzzles. We gave participants a sticker for every game they tried, and once they got enough stickers they got a rubber ducky. The rubber ducky serves as your best friend while you are coding because it listens intently. There was also a photo booth in the back with fun hats to wear.
Overall there was really positive feedback for the HackHighSchool event. There were 30 signups for next year by the end of the showcase and party. Interested in participating? Sign up for summer camp here.
Watch our Video about HackHighSchool: