November 25, 2015

SVSU hosts fourth grade students for Hour of Code event

Saginaw Valley State University will host students from two local elementary classrooms Thursday, Dec. 3 for an Hour of Code program. The event is part of a national initiative to increase diversity in computer science as well as to introduce coding to students at a young age.

The program consists of students participating in an hour of coding, the process of writing a computer program using a programming language. George Corser, SVSU assistant professor of computer science and information systems, and SVSU computer science students will provide instruction to the elementary students.

“Coding is a new kind of literacy,” Corser said. “The reason it's important to get it in early is because these younger people are going to be affected (more than other generations) by the digital world. We're living in a digital world with computers; we need to learn how they think and how they speak, and coding is their language.”

The two classrooms chosen were Amy Rankey's fourth grade class at Washington Elementary School in Bay City, and Carolynn Collard's fourth grade class at Chesaning Elementary School.

Students from those classes will come to SVSU, write code for an hour, and then tour the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum. They also will participate in a new STEM-geared activity session at the museum, where students will work with wax and water while also learning how wax and water interact with each other.

The Hour of Code event is a global movement that reaches students in over 180 countries.