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November 14, 2022

SVSU to introduce 82 4th graders to computer science in university’s 6th Hour of Code event

Woman at computer with two 4th grade students

Saginaw Valley State University will introduce 82 4th graders to computer science concepts during an Hour of Code program on Friday, Nov. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. SVSU’s STEM Center (STEM@SVSU) and the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum are partnering to provide a full day of activities for the students, who attend five elementary schools in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Adrianne Cole, director of STEM@SVSU, emphasized the importance of programs like Hour of Code.

“STEM@SVSU is excited to be part of the Hour of Code global movement,” she said. “Our world heavily relies on technology, so it's critical to introduce computer science concepts at an early age. Programs like this one allow us to increase the interaction between our campus partners and K-12 schools so young students can experience a college setting while increasing their knowledge and passion for the STEM fields.”

The Hour of Code program consists of students participating in 60 minutes 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. 

In addition to writing code, participating students will tour the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at SVSU. Andrea Ondish, curator of education at the museum, will lead the students in a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) activity. They will also enjoy lunch at the Marketplace, SVSU’s on-campus dining facility.

Cole said SVSU first offered an Hour of Code program in 2016 and has offered it every year except 2020. This year’s students represent:

  • All Saints Elementary, Bay City, with teacher Becky Neetz
  • McAlear-Sawden Elementary, Bay City, with teacher Stephanie Shay
  • Carrollton Elementary with teacher Marcia VanderElzen
  • Trinity Lutheran, Reese, with teacher Kamie Pike
  • Skeels Christian School, Gladwin, with teacher Brei Siegert

Through Hour of Code, SVSU has reached hundreds of 4th graders. Including this year’s participants, the total is 515 students and 24 teachers. Corser and his students use materials from the global Hour of Code program and show students and teachers how to access the lessons at home and school. For students who already have experience with the simple block coding presented in Hour of Code lessons, Corser and his students provide Java script instruction to take them to the next level.

Hour of Code is a global movement that reaches students in over 180 countries to increase diversity in computer science as well as to introduce coding to students at a young age.