This week 15 million students learned to code.
A friend of mine called me Wednesday night to ask if I was available to talk to some of his high school students about Computer Science and hangout while they worked on the Hour of Code. They have no Computer Science curriculum so this could be one of a few times they could experience Computer Science first hand in high school.
I didn’t really know what Computer Science was when I started studying it, so I think getting kids exposed to it while they’re still deciding what they want to study can only be a good thing.
We started by showing a promotional video for Hour of Code.
Then they started programming.
One group got in way over their heads. I noticed right away that they were writing Objective-C, so I asked if they had written any iOS apps, or even had any programming experience. They didn’t. My first thought was that starting with Objective-C without any experience would be pretty hard, but I offered to answer any questions they had. The next time I walked past, they flagged me down. They needed to instantiate an object.
Again, I thought it would be pretty hard to write Objective-C without understanding what Objects are — or, even the basic things you learn in the first week of any programming class. I gave a basic description of objects and helped them move on to the next step.
The next time I walked past, they had a ship flying on the screen and were working on creating a guy to shoot at the ships. They asked me a few more questions throughout the hour or so that I was there and by the end they had gotten pretty far through the iOS tutorial with ships flying back and forth and a guy to shoot at them when you tapped the screen.
It was a fun day answering questions about Computer Science and hopefully convincing a few of them to dig into it some more on their own.