Community comes together to raise awareness about importance of computer science education by participating in the global Hour of Code campaign

November 30, 2015 (Prince George) – Over 100 Prince George students will participate in the largest province-wide Codecreate youth coding event on Saturday, December 12 to celebrate the Hour of Code, a grassroots global computer science and digital literacy awareness campaign aimed to encourage students around the world to try computer programming from December 7 to 13. The students and teachers of Prince George will be among tens of millions of people around the world to take part in the largest youth coding event in the province and the largest global computer science-learning event in history.

The Innovation Central Society (ICS) is hosting Codecreate in Prince George to provide an opportunity for local students to gain exposure to computer programming and to inspire them to consider a career in technology. Students aged 8 to 18 from the Prince George school district, including local aboriginal students from the First Nations Technology Council’s school network, and teachers from the BC Teachers’ Federation’s CUEBC (Computer Using Educators of BC) will participating at this event held at the Centre for Learning Alternatives, John McInnis School for free. Two dozen industry software developers from local technology companies and post-secondary computer science students from the University of Northern British Columbia will be mentoring the students during the workshop.

Prince George Mayor Lynn Hall and Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond will also try an Hour of Code with students at Codecreate. Alongside the students and teachers of Prince George and BC, they will join 100 million people worldwide who have already tried an Hour of Code. The Codecreate events held across BC in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George, are supported by the Government of B.C., the Computer Using Educators of BC (CUEBC), which is a Provincial Specialist Association of the British Columbia Teachers’ Association (BCTF), and host partners in each region.

Anybody can host an Hour of Code event at their school or community. Schools, teachers, parents and students are encouraged to participate in making this year’s Hour of Code campaign in BC the largest yet. An unprecedented number of over 200 school and community-hosted Hour of Code events were registered in BC this year prior to the start of the Hour of Code campaign period. The Hour of Code planning resources and tools are available free online at hourofcode.com/ca.

 

Monica Berra, SD57 – District Vice Principal Learning Innovations – Learning Commons

It is exciting to learn  from teachers who are creating opportunities for coding in their schools.  Joseph Jeffery, Learning Commons Teacher Librarian from Polaris Montessori, sums up coding; “Coding is the backbone of our modern society and is needed in an increasing number of jobs. Back when public education was started people questioned why the common person would need to learn to read. Now we see it as a responsibility  of the state to ensure literacy. In another century this will likely be the case with coding literacy.”

 

Shauna Harper, Interim Executive Director Innovation Central Society

“This is about moving the dial forward and increasing opportunities for our youth in the City of Prince George. The community response has been amazing and the program is full. We are now taking a waitlist in order to gauge interest for future programs.”

 

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Prince George-Valemount MLA

“Today, virtually every company is a technology company. In order to prepare students for future careers, understanding computers and coding is critical. It is fantastic to see Prince George participate in the Hour of Code event.”

Mike Morris, Prince George-Mackenzie MLA

“Coding skills provide people with the tools they need for a successful career in the tech sector. This can include designing websites and developing software. Interactive and experiential learning through programs like Codecreate is a great way to engage students and prepare our youth for future job prospects.”

 

Will Cadell, CEO Spark Geo – Prince George Technology Company

“Software, like technology in general, has permeated through our entire modern lives. Indeed, technology has an ability to affect the world both positively and negatively in a particularly impactful manner due to its speed of delivery. If you want to make a difference, being involved in technology is a road to doing just that.

Apart from being awesome fun, writing code can give kids a huge advantage both cognitively and professionally. It is a step towards being able to understand and harness the technology ecology which has grown around us.

At Sparkgeo writing code had differentiated us enough that now we are able to enjoy living a recreational lifestyle in PG whilst serving some of the biggest tech companies on Earth.”

 

Jon Hamlin, VP, Computer Using Educators of BC (CUEBC), a Provincial Specialist Association of the British Columbia Teachers’ Association (BCTF)

“CUEBC is proud to be a part of Codecreate this year and the Hour of Code for the second year in a row as we bring coding opportunities to teachers and students across British Columbia. Computer programming skills have become ubiquitous across almost every industry. These are highly valued skills that we believe should become a fundamental educational component for all BC students. We encourage teachers and students from any grade level, regardless of technology access, to get involved with this exciting Hour of Code opportunity and attend a Codecreate event in their community where available.”

 

Denise Williams, Executive Director, First Nations Technology Council

“The First Nations Technology Council is proud to partner with Codecreate for the Hour of Code to bring this inspirational event to First Nations schools and communities across British Columbia. First Nations youth comprise the fastest-growing population in the province and are the future of innovation on our traditional territories.”, said Denise “At the Technology Council, our goal is to provide opportunities for First Nations youth to explore creative ways of using technology and to make space for our young innovators in BC’s tech sector. We hope that participating in the Codecreate events across the province and the Hour of Code campaign, we will spark a passion for technology in the hearts of First Nations youth and draw more support for initiatives like this.”

 

Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of Code.org.

“The Hour of Code is designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket-science, anybody can learn the basics. Over 100 million students worldwide have tried an Hour of Code. The demand for relevant 21st century computer science education crosses all borders and knows no boundaries.”

For more information about Codecreate, visit Codecreate.ca. For more information about Hour of Code, visit hourofcode.com/ca.

 

About Innovation Central Society (ICS)

Innovation Central Society supports technology entrepreneurs in starting and growing successful companies. Our Venture Acceleration Program follows a structured curriculum and assists startup and early stage companies with accelerating their growth. We host events that focus on developing and supporting an innovative technology community in the northern interior of British Columbia.

 

About Code.org

Code.org is a 501c3 public non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Its vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming. After launching in 2013, Code.org organized the Hour of Code campaign – which has introduced over 100 million students to computer science to date – and partnered with 70 public school districts nationwide to expand computer science programs. Code.org is supported by philanthropic donations from corporations, foundations and generous individuals, including Microsoft, Infosys Foundation, USA, The Ballmer Family Giving, Omidyar Network and others. For more information, please visit: code.org.

 

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For inquiries:

Shauna Harper