On December 7th, the beginning of the national Computer Science Education Week, OC Coder hosted its second annual Hour of Code. Classrooms were decorated with motivational quotes from President Barack Obama and many influential tech CEOs. There were two sessions this year, with the first session teaching languages including Scratch, Python, Java, Blockly, and Lightbot. The second session helped with AP Computer Science, and also taught Scratch, JavaScript, Python, and Swift.

Scratch was taught using the popular Angry Birds characters and students created two simple games using blocks in Scratch, including if statements, variables, costumes, looks, motions, and more. In Python Code Combat, kids enjoyed learning Python through an interactive game. They learned to write code to issue commands to a character to complete a variety of tasks, including avoid the spikes, defend the village, build a fence, and much more. In Java, students used Codecademy to introduce them to loops, if-else statements and other programming logic. Blockly was a class that transitioned students from blocks of code introduced by Scratch and into typing out lines of code in JavaScript. Lightbot was our computational thinking class to help start students learn logic before more abstract code. AP Computer Science helped students taking the class, or planning the class with any questions they had about the course. Swift was one of the new languages taught this year at Hour of Code. Most of the students had prior programming experience and were eager to learn how to make iOS applications.

Overall, OC Coder’s second annual Hour of Code was a huge success. 17 high school volunteers and lead teachers contributed to the event, where over 120 students were able to build and cultivate their passion for computer science.