‘Crack the code’ to computer science with Code Iowa

Students at Lincol Elemntary School complete the "Hour of Code"
Students at Lincoln Elementary School in Cedar Falls completed the “Hour of Code” alongside more than 450 other Iowa schools and organizations during last year’s Code Iowa effort.

It takes just one hour. That is all that Code.org needs to inspire millions of students around the globe with computer coding each year during the “Hour of Code.” The internationally-known non-profit uses free online programming with game-like features, popular cartoons and fun to spark student interest and awareness in computer science.

According to statistics provided by Code.org, Iowa currently has nearly 4,500 open computing jobs with only 358 computer science graduates to fill them, which is a demand 3.1 times higher than the average demand of other states across the nation.

With a second year of support from Google, the STEM Council launched another season of Code Iowa, which works in partnership with Code.org to help change that statistic, localize Code.org’s efforts to Iowa and encourage every student to try at least one hour of computer coding during Computer Science Education Week December 7-13, 2015.

“Google has grown tremendously in the last 17 years with the help of a talented workforce that is interested and educated in the computer science realm,” said Chris Russell, Google Council Bluffs Data Center Manager. “With a data center in Council Bluffs, Google is committed to help grow Iowa’s workforce needed to fill the computer science-related jobs in our facilities, as well as those roles across the state.”

Last December, more than 450 Iowa schools took part in the “Hour of Code” and six schools—one in each of the six STEM regions—received either a $10,000 technology award from Code.org or one of five $4,000 technology awards from the STEM Council thanks to a $20,000 gift from Google.

This year, schools that plan to participate during Computer Science Education Week can submit a proposal to Code.org and the STEM Council to be eligible for the technology awards. Interested schools must create a plan on how they will organize every student to do the “Hour of Code” at their school at www.IowaSTEM.gov/CodeIowa by November 16, 2015.

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