Local students participate in ‘Hour of Code’

HOUGHTON — Students from around the world are taking part in an event to promote computer coding. ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Rick Allen visited with the students during their Hour of Code.

It all starts with coding.

Before the birds can get angry and before the first Minecraft brick can be laid, someone needed to write the instructions on how to do it in a way a computer would understand.

During Computer Science Education Week, tens of thousands of Hour of Code events are held around the world, like the one at Houghton Middle School.

Representatives from Michigan Tech introduced the wonders of coding to the students.

MTU Software Engineering Major Mitch Davis said, “They’re learning just the basic approaches of how programs run, the idea of a step by step instruction that if you want something done, you can’t just say ‘I want this done’, you have to say all of the minor details of how to get there in the first place.”

The course is broken down into two parts, the first teaches the basic thought process of coding and in the second, they learn how to design a video game. The event is meant to encourage students to learn more about computer science.

Davis said, “My goal is not just to teach people about how to program so much as interest them into taking the next step afterwards. Once again, an hour is not very long to do something, so if we can take that to the next step, show what’s possible with it, and hopefully give them a small taste of that, then they can take the next steps on their own.”

More than 166 million students have taken part in the annual event worldwide.