Newark Public Schools Participates in International Hour of Code for Computer Science Education Week

Over 30 schools across the district hold events to raise awareness about importance of computer science education

[Newark, NJ - December 13, 2016] Over 30 schools across the City of Newark last week came together to participate in the International Hour of Code for Computer Science Education Week and raise awareness about the importance of computer science education.

“At Newark Public Schools, we are making technology a central part of our curriculum and instruction in order to encourage and nurture our students’ interest in computer science and technology,” said Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of Newark Public Schools (NPS). “Computer science and technology skills are integral to a student’s success in the classroom and will set them apart from their peers in today’s economy. Participating in the International Hour of Code Week is just another way to embrace technology and help our students prepare for college and a 21st century career.”

During hour-long sessions, students followed online tutorials guiding them through the basics of coding. Coding events took place throughout the week in various locations throughout the City of Newark and were led by local community members including employees from Audible’s Coding Club, The Idea Makers, Code for Newark and Valentine Global.

In addition to the hour of coding sessions that took place throughout the week, Mayor Ras Baraka participated in a live Twitter chat with students from West Side Campus and Technology High School where, using the hashtag #cultureshape, they discussed technology and how it impacts their lives now and in their future careers.

"Hour of Code gives our students an excellent opportunity to get involved in coding and to be exposed to careers in Computer Science,” noted Timothy Nellegar, Special Assistant for Technology at Newark Public Schools. “Our students were able to connect with Mayor Baraka and other leaders in the tech space over the course of this week to discuss careers and ways to get involved. The students learned about opportunities in the tech field right here in Newark that they may not have otherwise been exposed to."

International Hour of Code for Computer of Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, a computing pioneer. The grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.

Over the past several years, NPS schools and teachers have worked extensively on embedding instructional technology into the classroom. These learning opportunities include a variety of online platforms, e-books, math and science simulations, Google Apps for Education, personalized learning software and assistive technologies. These technologies are creating opportunities for teachers to provide high quality, real-time feedback to students to facilitate rich discussions and create authentic demonstrations of learning in all subjects.