Computers are amazing, but the success of this technology requires human minds who create the coding necessary for the computer to function. Coding basically tells a computer what to do. The concepts of coding can be taught to young children and teens, which helps nurture creativity and problem-solving skills to prepare students for any future career.
This past week a worldwide Hour of Code learning opportunity took place during Computer Science Education Week. Hour of Code is a nonprofit dedicated to giving every student in every school the opportunity to learn computer science and promotes a one-hour introduction to computer science, created to demystify coding and to show how anyone can learn the basics and to increase participation.
Even though the Hour of Code week is wrapping up, participants may access the free self-guided tutorials at www.hourofcode.com throughout the year. There are options for every age and experience level, from kindergarten and up. Unplugged activities are also available.
The success of the Hour of Code is seen in the participation across gender, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, including all grade levels. While students gain knowledge, educators gain confidence to teach computer science concepts.
To further promote computer science, the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub Resource Lending Library is an affordable and innovative way for in-classroom teachers to access coding literacy tools and to incorporate new activities into curriculum. For instance, Ozobots are tiny programmable robots that are perfect for introducing youth to block coding. Another immersive tool called zSpace allows students to explore augmented reality, computer-aided design (CAD), science, anatomy and mechanics. Additionally, Makey Makey (one of our newest resources) teaches students about electrical signals and circuit boards by connecting everyday objects to computer keys. We have computer science resources for all – PreK to adults!
Every educator throughout Douglas County can sign up for a free Resource Lending Library account on a user-friendly web platform and browse an inventory of hundreds of STEAM-learning items. Our resources meet the learning needs of all age groups from pre-school to adults. Reserved equipment can be picked up at our library location on the Umpqua Community College campus or can be delivered to a school and picked up when you are finished. Due to COVID-19, we follow strict disinfection protocols. To learn more, visit www.dcpss.org/steam-resources.
Our community is fortunate to have dedicated partners who love promoting STEAM learning throughout Umpqua Valley to bring lifelong learners together.
The Oregon Network of STEAM Hubs is interested in hearing from our communities about the perceived availability of computer science/digital literacy learning opportunities for our youth. We also want to understand the perceived sense of importance this area of learning has for our youth. We will use this data to help inform plans for the future and access funding sources to grow computer science/digital literacy education across the state and in Douglas County. To participate, please fill out this quick questionnaire: https://bit.ly/304iCIn
For more information about STEAM, resources and more stories about STEAM-thinking, visit www.dcpss.org.