IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- In a school district far, far away … OK, it was in Irvington … students wielded computer skills instead of light sabers to carve out their own galaxies.
Using their imaginations, and what they learned in school, the third- through 12th-graders took part in “Hour of Code,” the district’s recent program-athon.
In one of the mind-boggling exercises, they used a “Star Wars”-based module called “Building a Galaxy with Code.”
Jessie Yu, a software engineer from IBM, visited the Dows Lane Elementary School to talk to third-graders about computer programming.
Following an assembly, Yu worked with students in the computer lab, guiding them through their coding exercises.
“It’s important to expose students to what a job in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math is like,” she said.
Yu added that she wanted to break sexist stereotypes, saying: “There’s nothing prohibiting girls from getting into coding.”
Yu said that while the “Hour of Code” serves only as an introduction to coding and programming, it should help inspire students and spark their interest in computer science.
“Technology is cool because you get to create something that was never created before,” she said. “In computer programming, your imagination is the limit. You can take your creativity and turn it into something that hasn’t been seen before, which can really change the lives of everyone else.”
Students said their favorite part of the exercise was when they got to use coding to create video games. But, they added, they also understood the skill’s role in society.
“Coding is important because people are now making a lot of technology and if you don’t know how to code, you’re going to have trouble using the technology,” said fourth-grader Marcus Canton. “I would like to learn coding now so I can learn how to make new technology.”
Jesse Lubinsky, the district’s director of technology, praised the students’ enthusiasm.
“The ‘Hour of Code’ is an excellent jumping off point for our district,” he said, adding that it is excited about finding “more ways to get students coding in the future.”
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