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Rocketship Encourages Creativity and Problem Solving with Hour of Code

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by LaToya Fernandez
Social Justice and Culture Teacher, Rocketship Discovery Prep

Rocketship is celebrating Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11) this month by hosting the global learning movement, Hour of Code, in our classrooms for a second year. Last year we noticed that our students went from video gamers to video game designers, and discovering algorithms was just as exciting as discovering cheat codes to defeat virtual opponents. Rocketship is continuously integrating enriching programs into our students’ learning to gain both exposure and opportunities for our communities. We are excited to host the event again this year, and want to continue to give our students the tools they need to take tech advancement to the next level and represent their communities at the forefront of the coding movement.

“I like coding because it is fun but also challenging in some ways. I think that learning code is really valuable and it helps us to problem solve. If we fail, we have to try again!  If I had the chance of talking to someone that has never heard of code, then I would tell that person, “Code is awesome and you don’t know what you’re missing out on!” – Anela R.  (5th grade student)

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“I think that learning code is really valuable and it helps us to problem solve. If we fail, we have to try again!”

What is the Hour Code?

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Computer science is foundational for every industry. Yet most schools don’t teach it. At Rocketship we are trying to change that.

The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify
code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Learning to code and about computer science can encourage creativity and problem solving skills, and prepares students for any future career. Silicon Valley is the hub of tech education and tech innovation and as educators of the new millennium, we recognize the benefit of our students and families understanding how to navigate in a computer savvy world. In order to truly close the opportunity gap we must empower our kids to think for themselves, accept challenge and not be afraid to ignite the leader within. That is why Rocketship is joining in on one of the largest global learning events in history yet again!

Why participate?

Rocketship has always been at the forefront of technology inclusion, as a part of our students’ academic day is spent in a Learning Lab accessing differentiated math and reading content through the use of laptops. Our students are familiar with the keys and our network strives to provide more ways to strengthen the technological lens through typing programs, app design software, and computer coding.

“I think coding helps us learn and discover new stuff. I think that making/creating new stuff is valuable. I think this because when I grow up, I want to be an engineer and would have to spend a lot of time on the computer creating new stuff. I’m not really good at code so I would have to ask someone to teach me and then I would teach the person and be nice–like if they get something wrong, I would correct them respectfully.” – Angel M. (5th Grade)

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“I think coding helps us learn and discover new stuff. When I grow up I want to be an engineer”

Closing the achievement gap together

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We couldn’t agree more!

Children of color and women are severely underrepresented in the world of coding and application design. Last year we helped change that by extending opportunities for students to engage in Hour of Code across all of our schools reaching thousands of students.

The Hour of Code recently reported that only 10,244 high school students in California took the AP Computer Science exam in 2016; only 27% were female; only 1,487 students were Hispanic or Latino; only 146 students were Black; and only 7 students were Native American or Alaska Native. We think this has to change, so we’re starting one Rocketeer at a time.

But don’t take our word for it

Here are a few more quotes directly from our Rocketeers about why they love to learn to code!

“I enjoy coding because it is fun and you can also learn how to do many different things, too. I usually go at the end of the day and like to stay there a long time because I have a great time. I think you should allow coding in Learning Lab because I think kids will have fun with it and also learn so many new things they might not know!” -Destiny A. (5th Grade)

“I enjoy coding because it is a fun way to make a strategy to have fun. What I think is valuable about code is you need a strategy to get past mazes, buildings, and other stuff. It is a fun way to learn. What I would tell someone that has never tried code is, “You should try code, it’s like if you want to make this game–go on! And it helps you learn how to type…so you should go on a computer and try coding!” -Angel P. (5th Grade)

“Coding is a privilege that you earn and it’s a really fun exercise for your brain.”-Samara G. (5th Grade)

Join us this year as our young Rocketeers launch their coding lasers and blast into Hour of Code. Share your Hour of Code experiences ➟ @RocketshipEd

 LaToya started her career at Rocketship as a member of the support staff team. She transitioned to an enrichment coordinator then a Rocketship tutor (ILS) before becoming a fifth grade humanities teacher at Discovery Prep. LaToya is currently a social justice and culture teacher. She graduated from Newbury College in Boston where she studied Media writing and English.

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