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Celebrating Computer Science Education Week
MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2015 12:14 PM

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers make around $93,350 per year. These professionals use code to create and fix programs, controlling networks and devices. December 7-13 is Computer Science Education Week, the perfect occasion to set your students on a path to a career in IT. To help your class celebrate this exciting occasion and learn about Common Core science, here are some tips:

Try coding
Computer coding is a growing field, and kids interested in tech can begin learning about it at an early age. There many fun games students can play to learn the intricacies of software development. Moreover, students can also  take steps toward identifying if an IT career is right for them just by learning a few bits of code. Some areas are hosting Computer Science Education Week activities such as creating an Hour of Code, a time during which students in one classroom, a school or even an entire district pause their regular studies and instead learn coding. Teachers can turn to the CSEW Hour of Code participation kit for resources on how to organize and facilitate such an event. 

For a smaller-scale journey into coding, have your students try these apps that teach the basics of coding:

This web platform provides interactive games that teach kids coding concepts by challenging them to complete strings of code to make characters move. It provides tutorials to get user started, and then kids can move on to free play mode to experiment and build on the basic coding ideas. Tynker offers a colorful interface that gets kids involved in IT.

Robots and artificial intelligence are hot topics in the technology world. Your students can train their own robots with Cargo-Bot, an app that has 36 puzzles to promote learning. Users write code to tell the bot where to go, when to turn and when to jump in order to solve the puzzles and finish the games. Cargo-Bot features a toolbox of moves from which users choose their bot's next step by writing sequences of code. Even adults can get into this addictive app.

Coding games are just the start of showing students what a potential career in software development may mean for them. These apps and programs are a great way to get students involved and give them a taste of what an IT career could entail.