'Hour of Code' Campaign Aims to Get Students Interested in Computer Science

Updated: 12/11/2013 11:22 AM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson

Imagine taking a class being taught by Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates – or learning a lesson from the heads of Google or Amazon.

All this week, kids in America will get that chance as a part of the Hour of Code campaign, which aims to get millions of students interested in computer science; the goal is to inspire students to take a one-hour tutorial on how to write computer code.

“Hour of Code” was started by code.org. The website wants to get computer science education in more schools and get more women and minorities interested in those careers.

Kids in the Minnetonka, Edina and South Washington County School Districts are all involved. In Edina, for example, students in high school math classes are spending an hour in the media center.

The one-hour class can teach students how to create a computer holiday card, program a game, or even make an app.

The initiative is being heavily promoted by those running the biggest online companies. The leadership at Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter appear in some of the tutorials, and Apple retail stores across the country will have a free one-hour workshop on code Wednesday.

Careers in computing are growing faster than our country can supply people to fill those jobs. Each year, about 140,000 jobs are added in this field, but only about 40,000 college students are graduating with computing degrees.