Part of the mission of the U-M Women in IT Community of Practice is to help build the pipeline of women IT professionals. As such, the CoP is calling for volunteers from the U-M community to support the Hour of Code at Ann Arbor Public Schools December 3-7 to help introduce all students to computer science.
Anyone can volunteer
Volunteers do not have to be coders, just comfortable working with kids to assist a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) teacher or School Champion in the classroom as they engage the students in an age-appropriate coding activity. In 2017, 72 volunteers from U-M helped teach 111 class sessions of Hour of Code, reaching over 2,700 elementary students. This year, the goal is to reach 5,000 students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 at the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
As a volunteer, you can help spark young people’s interest in computer science and introduce them to the possibilities of the world of the future. “The Hour of Code is designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket science—anybody can learn the basics,” said Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of Code.org. “Over 100 million students worldwide have tried an Hour of Code. The demand for relevant 21st-century computer science education crosses all borders and knows no boundaries.”
Last year, Ben Balk, a storage engineer with ITS Infrastructure, volunteered for Hour of Code at AAPS. His experience reflects that of many other volunteers:
Participating in the Hour of Code was so rewarding. The students I worked with were very excited to participate in the activity. It was inspiring to watch as they completed the structured exercise and then added things to the finished product to make it their own. I was lucky enough to work with three different grades and was amazed by what even kindergartners are able to accomplish and learn over the course of the hour. I still run into students that were in the sessions I led that remember and talk about our Hour of Code!
How to volunteer
The Women in IT CoP Community Outreach group is hosting an info session and volunteer drive on November 8, 2018 from 9–10:30 a.m. at Arbor Lakes South Dome. The event will include an Hour of Code demo, a panel discussion from 2017 Hour of Code at AAPS volunteers, information from AAPS about their Project Lead the Way Program, and other opportunities to get involved.
If you have questions, please contact the AAPS Strategic Partnerships Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Ann Arbor Public schools site for the event. To learn more about the Women in IT Community of Practice visit https://women.it.umich.edu/.