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'Hour of Code' encourages Edmond students to program computers

Edmond Santa Fe High School was awarded a grant for the “Hour of Code” initiative to encourage students to learn more about computers.
BY STEVE GUST Published: December 31, 2013

An instructor at Edmond Santa Fe is glad to have participated in a national effort designed to draw more students to computer science.

Called the “Hour of Code,” the emphasis on enhanced computer learning was an initiative stressed by President Barack Obama as well as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

At stake was showing students the fundamentals of computer codes, which help programmers give a computer its various functions and tasks.

Computer science instructor Susan James landed a $10,000 grant for participation for Santa Fe, the only Oklahoma high school to receive one. The money is being spent on more equipment, such as monitors, for her class.

National political and business leaders want American students to compete evenly with others globally when it comes to technology, James said.

Most all students use computers, but understanding the nuts and bolts of them is another story.

“I like to call all of these students digital babies,” she said. “They know how to operate the computers, but not necessarily what makes them work.”

During the “Hour of Code,” students from outside the computer science class were brought in for an hour and shown how computer codes make a difference.

“The codes show how it affects a video game's control stick,” said James, who is in her second year at Santa Fe. Computer knowledge is practical for almost all students, she added.

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