Hale Kula students teach 'Coding'
December 24, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Dec. 20, 2013) -- The "Hour of Code" global event initiative that teaches students the basics of coding/computer programming found several leading state of Hawaii officials, including the governor, at Hale Kula elementary school, Dec. 13.
Governor Neil Abercrombie, state and Army officials gathered, here, for the presentation of a $10,000 check by code.org for the purchase of technology equipment and resources for the school.
"You are the pioneers here, and young people we are very proud of," Abercrombie told the Hale Kula student body at the presentation.
Hale Kula was the only school in Hawaii selected to receive the $10,000 funding grant for the school's participation in the program.
Before and after the presentation, state and Army officials and other visitors received firsthand computer programming instruction -- from the students.
Kristin Villalobos's first grade class came to the presentation armed with iPads and a "watch-me," can-do attitude as they demonstrated coding to visitors who entered the school for the event.
"It's easy," said 6-year-old Victoria Burton, who was instructed to show one visitor how to enter a line of code on her school-provided iPad.
Sure enough, it took only minutes for Burton's instruction to bare coding fruit.
Following the formal presentation, the governor and other officials also received coding instruction.
"The Hour of Code" was a global event held during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 9-15. More than 3.2 million students in 161 countries signed up to participate, including all of Hale Kula's teachers and students.
"(Hale Kula) is on the front line in the teaching of coding," said Kathryn Matayoshi, superintendent, Hawaii State Department of Education.
She noted only 10 percent of schools nationwide teach computer programming/coding.
Computer programming jobs, said the governor, during his remarks, are growing "three times faster than the rate that students are entering the field."
Hale Kula Principal Jan Iwase stressed that her school has a commitment to embracing 21st century skills into the schools curriculum. Coding is one element of the strategy, she said.
"We want to be sure that our students receive the knowledge, skills and strategies to help them succeed in this technological world," said Iwase.