Jacqui Nickell
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First grader Rygel Farr enjoys programming with Scratch, Jr.
Computer science drives innovation throughout the U.S. economy, but it remains marginalized throughout K-12 education. While nine out of 10 parents want their child to study computer science, only one in four schools offer computer programming.
Only 27 states allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation. There are currently 604,689 open computing jobs nationwide. Last year, only 38,175 computer science students graduated into the workforce.
The Hour of Code is a grassroots campaign focused on getting tens of millions of students to try computer programming during December 7-13, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. 
Although Lakehill Preparatory School already offers a comprehensive computer science program, students of all ages joined in the fun of Hour of Code. Students in kindergarten through grade four used the iPads provided by Trek for Tech funds to explore coding apps, including Daisy the Dinosaur, Kodable, and Scratch, Jr. They also used the site to for Minecraft and Star Wars coding projects. "The coding projects have been such a hit in Lower School that we are going to continue coding next week," said Lower School Computer teacher Casey Pike.
Middle and Upper School Computer Science classes have been coding all year, but were able to add new programs this week. Fifth graders have been building programmable robots. They also continued their study of coding with Scratch, while also earning a certificate for their work in a new program Tynker. Upper School began using Snap!, an advanced Scratch program from University of California Berkeley and MIT, while Middle School followed up their studies of picturing programs with Alice 2.
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