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Students from Florin High School’s Tech Careers Academy participated in the 2015 Hour of Code on December 8, 2015, led by Randy Fairchild as part of a three-year partnership with Mac Clemmons, founder and CEO of Digital Deployment.

After a brief overview, Florin students logged on to their computers, opened the Code.org URL and started coding. Many worked on Minecraft and others focused on Flappy Bird. At first glance, students looked like they were just messing with things, as one student described it, but upon close examination, students read and deciphered a challenge. Based on the tools available, they analyzed what needed to be used to meet an objective, ran trial and error tests, reworked their design and, once the challenge was solved, they proceeded to the next level.  

The Hour of Code engaged students to think critically and creatively using logic and spatial skills. Clemmons and his team of software engineers were on hand to assist students. The after- school event drew in a few other curious bystanders like a few teachers, employees with young children, and even this reporter. The academy that organized the event provides computer science lessons and primers on the basic principles of computer programming.

The Hour of Code Movement reaches more than 180 countries and has helped teach more than 100 million students  understand what coding is about through the more than 191,000 events held worldwide. According to Code.org, a nonprofit promoting the global coding effort, the Hour of Code “is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.” The organization further states that “the grassroots campaign goal is for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during December 7-13, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week,” emphasizing that “every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-Century career path.”