I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Coding!

George Graves, Writer

This week was dedicated to all things Computer Science. Each year schools around the globe participate in “Hour of Code,” in which they encourage students to complete some coding-related activity as a way to introduce them to the all expansive field of Computer Science.

Computer Science is a field of study that truly rules the 21st Century. At this point in human history, you can encounter some sort of computerized contraption with every turn you make. Most of us carry a cellular device somewhere on our person. In fact, over 47% of the entire world utilizes the internet in some form or fashion. It’s in everything from your computer and the websites you use to sewing machines and coffee makers.

Despite an increase in awareness on the importance of Computer Science, the message isn’t delivered consistently to all audiences. When asking students at this very school the initial question of if they were even aware of that this week was Computer Science Week, there was a resounding “no” from almost every student surveyed.

This is may be due to the fact that high school doesn’t require Computer Science courses; it’s a general elective. This is why it’s crucial to make a huge impact and build interest with younger students, especially females. Right now females only make up 15-20% of the Computer Science field.

Mrs. Rountree, the Bob Jones Computer Science teacher, said, “I’m not doing anything in particular at Bob Jones, but I’m taking a group of students to Madison Elementary tomorrow for a special event open to girls in grades 2 through 6. They are doing the Hour of Code, and we are assisting them.” After the event, she had this to add, “Madison Elementary had 77 girls stay after school to learn about coding. I think the students from BJ along with Mrs. Gaines and myself got as much out of it as the girls.”

Activities like these need to be done early in order to truly diversify a field that is such an integral part of many people’s lives. We can appreciate Computer Science everyday, not just during a special week dedicated to it.