Hour of Code: Computer Science Education Week @ 42


Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week

42 hosted an Hour of Code event on Monday, December 3rd. Hour of Code is a global initiative that takes place during Computer Science Education Week, which this year is scheduled from December 3rd to the 9th. Computer Science Education Week is an annual event to honor Grace Hopper, a renowned computer scientist, who was born December 9th.

Before we tell you more about the Hour of Code event that 42 Silicon Valley hosted, you really need to learn more about the amazing woman who inspired this initiative. Grace Hopper was a Navy veteran, associate professor and is known as “ the first lady of software.” After earning a Ph.D. in mathematics, Hopper reported for duty at the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at Harvard University in 1944. According to Biography.com, “As a research fellow at Harvard, she worked with the Mark II and Mark III computers. She was at Harvard when a moth was found to have shorted out the Mark II and is sometimes given credit for the invention of the term ‘computer bug’—though she didn’t actually author the term, she did help popularize it.”

After Harvard, Hopper joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation. According to the Computer History Museum, “There, she developed one of the world’s first compilers and compiler-based programming languages.  In 1959, Hopper played an important role in defining a new easy-to-use programming language. The result was COBOL, probably the most successful programming language for business applications in history.” Grace Hopper will forever be known as a great pioneer in programming history. She has inspired many people to avoid following the mantra “it’s always been done that way” and instead forge their own paths…the perfect person to honor during Computer Science Education Week!

Hour of Code @ 42: Create A Trivia Game 

Hour of Code has over 400 partners and 200,000 educators who participate in over 180 countries. Anyone can organize an Hour of Code event, and the one-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages. You don’t need any prior experience, Hour of Code is designed to be an introduction to computer science, with the goal to make programming more accessible. Over 100 million students have participated, and 50% of the students who have tried Hour of Code are female. This is nearly twice a much as the number of women who work in tech which hovers around 26%. Since making coding education more accessible is at the heart of our core values, 42 was excited to host another Hour of Code event this year.

42 Silicon Valley hosted an Hour of Code event that challenged students to code a trivia game. Students got to choose the topic and level of complexity in any programming language of their choice. The projects were evaluated through a peer correction process at the end. Some of the projects that were created included the following: A command line program where you can create trivia games by inputting your own questions and playing against each other, a game where you would see a Pokemon and you had to guess which Pokemon it was, and a web app game where you could play trivia based on the popular tv show “The Office.”  Josh Trujillo, Events Coordinator at 42 Silicon Valley who helped plan the trivia game exercise summed up the event, “Hour of Code is a great way to get people interested in coding or have them improve their abilities. It was a good opportunity to show that you can create something in as little as an hour.”

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published by Stacey Faucett – December 4, 2018