JP Powell and Eastside Elementary to partcipate in ‘Hour of Code’

Published 9:00 am Thursday, December 1, 2022

John P. Powell Magnet Middle and Eastside Elementary Magnet Schools are participating in the Hour of Code as part of National Computer Science Education Week from Dec. 5 to 9.

The new STEAM Specialist for Chambers County School District Dr. Vickie Williams-Benson discussed the learning event and how it can benefit the students of the JPP Middle School.

“I always did STEM in my class to help the students to explore computer science,” Williams-Benson said. “Now we’re doing more coding. They’re coding things like games and apps and different things like that … It allows them to open their mindset so they can get involved in learning about going into different careers in STEM or STEAM.”

Email newsletter signup

The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to the basics of computer science with engaging tutorials, according to the Hour of Code website.

“The students are already coding for the year with Code.org,” Williams-Benson said. “Code.org is the sponsor of Hour of Code, which would actually allow us to explore a plate and create across a broad spectrum well across the nation. We’re going to be doing our code for the whole entire week.”

The campaign is organized by the nonprofit Code.org and supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators. All 4th-8th grade students at the schools will be participating in the Hour of Code.

Computer Science Education Week will feature several engaging STEAM-related activities. Starting on Monday, the students will be introduced to computer science, attend a Virtual Field Trip and practice one hour of team coding. On Tuesday, the 6th-8th graders will do a 4-H STEAM Lab. Then, all 4th-6th grade students will participate in an Hour of Code.

COO of Cybernetics Global, Tiffany Cooper, will be the guest speaker on Wednesday. Cooper is a software engineer.

Williams-Benson said that Cooper will speak to the students about computer science and the many different fields that they can explore within it.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be just computer science,” Williams-Benson said. “You can be a NASA engineer, you can be a software engineer or you can actually be the person marketing for Google or TikTok. It depends on what you’re doing. They have different things that they do in computer science now. It’s more widespread, and they’re trying to get the kids interested in it.”

Williams-Benson hopes that these events will be just the beginning. Now that she has been made CCSD’s STEAM Specialist, she plans to continue working toward positive growth in the school district’s STEAM programs.

“We have done coding for the entire semester. My students have done lessons where they are just totally involved. They are ready to advance,” William-Benson said. “They’re actually enrolled in a class right now called Express course. After we finish this in two weeks, I’m going to move my students on and we are going to be doing more innovation with coding.”