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Hour of Code to be held virtually this year

All Districts — This year’s Computer Science Education Week will have a different feel — and won’t be limited to a week — but local technology leaders are committed to providing opportunities for students to get excited about coding. 

In partnership with Kent ISD, West Michigan Tech Talent is creating a virtual Hour of Code curriculum for third- through fifth-graders across West Michigan. Because of the ongoing pandemic, this year’s programming will be offered in an asynchronous, virtual format so that teachers may schedule the coding party at a time that works best for them. 

“We are working vigorously to create an engaging option with the safety of students in mind, while still providing an exciting experience that can be enjoyed by all,” said Gerry Verwey, career readiness/STEM consultant at Kent ISD. 

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science and coding, to show that anybody can learn the basics and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science. The one-hour coding activities typically take place during Computer Science Education Week, which is Dec. 7-13 this year. 

West Michigan Tech Talent’s curriculum this year will include a step-by-step lesson plan to enable teachers to deliver the Hour of Code experience to their students. It will also include access to Hour of Code videos and additional resources for further learning. 

In addition, the included “meet the technologists” videos will provide a virtual introduction to West Michigan technology professionals. Registration for this year’s Hour of Code is now open for teachers, who will be provided with available dates and times for their students to participate.

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Beth Heinen Bell
Beth Heinen Bell is a reporter and copy editor, covering Rockford, Lowell, Grandville and Cedar Springs. She is an award-winning journalist who got her start as the education reporter for the Grand Haven Tribune. A Calvin University graduate, she later returned to her alma mater to help manage its national writing festival and edit and write for enrollment communications. Beth has also written for The Grand Rapids Press, Fox 17 and several West Michigan businesses and nonprofits. She is fascinated by the nuances of language, loves to travel and has strong feelings about the Oxford comma. Read Beth's full bio

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