By Harrison Zhang

307 million participants. 141 thousand event locations. One goal: Coding.

Orange County Coder participated for the third consecutive year as one of the event locations for Hour of Code, a global movement dedicated to introducing computer science and programming to the next generation, on Dec. 5 at Ardent Academy Northwood.

“We have to start small in our own backyard,” OC Coder Vice President and Northwood High School junior Matthew Tang said. “Then we can start expanding.”

Languages taught included Scratch, Python and Javascript from 4-5 p.m., and Java and Web Development from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Programs used include Globaloria, SoloLearn and MIT Scratch.

2017 Hour of Code 4

“I like the feeling of coding,” Java participant and sixth grader Lara Tseng said. “It is frustrating at first, but when it finally works, it makes me happy.”

Local Orange County students were given one hour, but left class with a lifetime skill. OC Coder specifically limited their focus to reaching third to eighth graders. There were over 116 students and 17 OC Coder volunteers at this event.

“[OC Coder] has gotten more experience over the years,” OC Coder President and Oxford Academy senior Anna Lou said. “Our lesson plans are more developed and that provides a more calm environment for the kids to learn.”

Led by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org, over 180 countries now participate in this event open to those with ranging experience levels.

The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming.

Advocates for computer science range from President Obama to comedian and actor Chris Rock to the CEO of Youtube Susan Wojcicki.

2017 Hour of Code 2

“From phones to medicine, technology touches every part of our lives,” Wojcicki’s quote read on a poster hung around Ardent Academy. “If you can create technology, you can change the world.”

Dec. 5 to Dec. 11 is known as Computer Science Education week which is held during the week of the industry’s trailblazer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper’s birthday (Dec. 9, 1906).

“Hour of Code is a small taste of computer science [in terms of being an] introductory course,” Hour of Code lead organizer and University High School junior Jessica Lee said. “[Teaching the youth] breaks the stereotype of coders being middle aged men coding for jobs.”