Warren Hills Computer Science club (CS@WH) hosted their second annual Hackathon (HillsHack) in June 2017. 105 Warren Hills students participated in the 14 hour hackathon with 20 alumni mentors, including 3 from Google. There were tech talks for students of all levels of experiences. Some of the tech talks included Gamemaker, Android Studio, App Inventor, GitHub, and Chatbots. There were also panel discussions about studying STEM in college and working in the tech industry. Some of the hacks included video games, websites, motion sensor video water guns and security systems.
The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.
The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Check out the tutorials and activities. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.
The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2017 Computer Science Education Week will be December 4-10, but you can host an Hour of Code all year round. Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).
Once again, thousands of people of all ages and from all walks of life attended Toms River Regional Schools’ third annual Jersey Shore Makerfest. The event was held on Saturday, October 14, at the district’s event arena and the on grounds and in classrooms at High School North in Toms River, NJ.
The event celebrates a larger phenomenon that has been building worldwide for the last decade. Its application in schools aligns with state standards in careers, technology, science, and engineering and improved understandings of student learning. It is closely related to STEAM, Active Learner, and Problem-Based Learning initiatives many districts have recently begun.
Organizer Marc Natanagara, Assistant Superintendent, has seen the maker movement as an opportunity to make learning more engaging. He has shared recent school initiatives at conferences and at the past two World Maker Faires in New York City, each of which drew over 100,000 attendees.
“The maker mindset is about both individuality and collaboration, and the role of creativity in learning,” said Dr. Natanagara. “Students always rise to the challenge and show they can tackle real world issues if given the chance.”
Makerfest has sparked dozens of partnerships and sponsorships that have helped improve classrooms and programs, and the maker/STEAM mindset has been at the root of the majority of $1.2 million in grants won over the past two years. Makerspaces have been and are being built in each of the district’s 18 schools, most through grants and donations. Three high school Career Academies debuted in September, each with a hands-on technology component. Teachers are creating more interactive, inquiry-based, and problem-oriented lessons. And new tech, coding, and robotics extracurricular programs are in high demand.
For more information, go to http://jerseyshoremakerfest.org
There are two bills still pending approval in New Jersey, and we need your help to get them across the finish line. A2873 (CS in every HS) and A3870 (CS Teaching Certification) have both passed the Senate unanimously earlier this year. Now, both bills are waiting for a final vote in the Assembly, and they must be voted on before the end of the year. We are so close.
In 2016, only 34% of NJ high schools offered AP Computer Science and less than 1% of NJ high school students (3,056) students took APCS A.
The Change.org petition for letting NJ Assembly Speaker Prieto know that computer science should be fundamental to New Jersey, is now closed. Thank you for all of your support.
All students should have the opportunity to learn Computer Science. Ensure New Jersey stays among the leaders in Computer Science Education.