Hour of Code: Students learn technical side behind favorite games

Published: Dec. 11, 2015 at 4:03 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2015 at 1:29 AM EST
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NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH (WOIO) - North Ridgeville Middle School students are getting a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at their favorite computer games. They're learning about the coding and programming that make Angry Birds and Minecraft Work with "Hour of Code."

"You have to use different 'repeat untils' and 'move forward.' It gets more challenging," says eighth grader Vinnie Saraney.

"It's teaching me how to set up the basics and just have a little fun when you work," adds classmate Tobin Grendzynski.

The lesson is part of the largest worldwide teaching event ever. The Hour of Code is spearheaded by nonprofit organization Code, with a goal of teaching kids about evolutionary technology, not to mention adding computer science as part of school curriculum.

"We're noticing it's a little harder to find the talent here locally, let alone nationally, and that problem is because students aren't going down the computer science route," explains Caitlyn Nowlin, of Westlake's Hyland Software.

Nowlin says only one in four schools nationwide teach computer science. The company has been helping teachers and students with these hands-on coding exercises and, so far, the kids have been excited and engaged.

"Students who have struggled in the past have succeeded in this. They come in, eyes bright, their confidence is built," says math teacher Brynn Born.

"This peaks their interest with computer games and computer programming. Who knows what it might lead to in the future," says math teacher Kelly Bossert.

A few of the students we spoke to say they are already planning their futures as video game developers because these lessons have inspired them.

In addition to making computer science more common in school curriculum, Code's movement also aims to get more girls and minority students involved in the computer science field.

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