Students Take Part in Hour of Code

Students in Loudoun County joined more than 100 million students in 180 countries to take part in the 2017 Hour of Code earlier this month.

As part of Computer Science Education Week in early December, students around the world were invited to experiment with a coding activity and to learn about coding professions during the Hour of Code.

Former Mill Run Elementary School parent David Parmele connected the school with the software engineers and solutions architects of Amazon Web Services in Herndon. Amazon Web Services’ Managing Director for Global Education Andrew Ko was accompanied by about 20 coding professionals who worked with students to learn about coding.

Students were introduced to a webpage that allowed them to create their own Star Wars-themed game. Those new to coding could use a drag-and-drop block system of coding, while more advanced coders could try their hand at a Java version.

“Our engineers are impressed,” said Mary Young, education marketing manager for Amazon Web Services. “The students are choosing to create the more advanced game, not the basic.”

At River Bend Middle School, staff members from Sterling-based IT firm Neustar led students through a similar project. Analytics and Insight Principal Padma Chitrapu joined Principal Software Engineer Chris Mauck to introduce students to the Python coding language.

Students took to the coding language quickly because they had a good foundation from their first quarter using Scratch to create games, digital scrapbooks and animations.

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