I think EVERY kid should try this!!

I never really look too much into the links on the Google Home page… but last night something caught my eye. It said “Be a maker, a creator, an innovator. Get started now with an Hour of Code.” underneath a cool picture of Grace Hopper (an amazingly smart woman in the field of Computer science (and the Navy) when woman weren’t really in the work force never mind a man dominated field like Computer Science). My interest was piqued – I want to be a maker, creator, and innovator  (isn’t that what I’ve been learning in a Million Little Ways).  And to my pleasant surprise it is everything that I hold dear lately (well except God and my family).  In comes THE HOUR OF CODE – This week is Computer Science Education week and in honor of that they are encouraging everybody – really everybody to know that they can learn to code, they can learn to create computer programs and understand the process.
Check out this video –

But the real fun begins when the kids get to use visual coding to get an angry bird through a maze. There are 20 levels that get harder and harder… it took me a couple of tries to get through level 20! But even the youngest of kids can get through the first 3 levels and they will have so much fun!  If you want to give it a try go here for puzzle number 1 .There will be a video with a little introduction again (but don’t be put off they are goign to explain the challenge) to coding but then a young girl (yay!) will show you how to go through the challenge. When the video is over, just click the x in the upper right hand corner and you’ll see the puzzle. There is a new video for each puzzle to give you a little tutorial… to be honest the robotics kids and I just xed out of the videos quickly and tried the puzzles on our own.

Timing was perfect. I help teach a robotics class on Mondays after school and even though the class is mostly boys, my girls love to be a part of it and help. Today it was like a party for everyone. Each kid went through the coding challenges, helped each other out and laughed the whole time. They would run their program and see how they got stuck in a loop as their character spun around and around. They learned more in that hour about programming (very important in Robotics) then I had taught them previously. But don’t get me wrong this isn’t for just kids interested in robotics – this is for all kids!!!!!! My 6-year-old loved it. Any kid that plays mindcraft will love it, any kid that loves video games or apps will love it… (and to be honest these days that’s most kids – and even if you’ve stayed off technology this long, this you’ll want to see!) Programming teaches kids to break down problems into small doable parts, it teaches kids to think about the journey and the end result. It teaches kids that they are powerful, as powerful as their imaginations… please, please try it, do it with them, you’ll be amazed when they learn to do it quicker than you can. If you check it out please let me know in the comments, share it on facebook, spread the word. If you are having trouble navigating the Hour of Code website let me know and I’ll help in anyway I can.
hourofcode IMG_6430 IMG_6431(Note pictures weren’t staged… they really played for over an hour… you won’t be disappointed.)

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