Looking Beyond the “Hour of Code”
December 19, 2013 — Wolfram Blog Team, Wolfram Blog Team
For many years, Wolfram Research has promoted and supported initiatives that encourage computation, programming, and STEM education, and we are always thrilled when efforts are taken by others to do the same. As sponsors of organizations like Computer-Based Math™, which is working toward building a completely new math curriculum with computer-based computation at its heart, and the Mathematica Summer Camp, where high school students with limited programming experience learn to code using Mathematica, we’re probably more acutely aware than most of how important programming is in schools today.
That’s why last week we were happy to see that Code.org, in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week, sponsored an event to encourage educators and organizations across the country to dedicate an Hour of Code to give kids (and adults, too!) a taste of what it means to study computer science—and how it can actually be a creative, fun, and fulfilling process.
While the event was an eye-opening experience for many participants, parents, and policymakers across the nation, we at Wolfram know that there is so much more that lies beyond that first step. In fact, our most recent partnership with The Raspberry Pi Foundation was built upon a similar philosophy of raising awareness that coding needs to be an integral part of STEM education. By providing affordable access to Mathematica and the Wolfram Language, we hope to influence policymakers, encourage teachers, and inspire students to discover math, science, and technology in a much more rounded and creative way. Having freely available, industrial-calibre tools such as Mathematica prepares students for today’s society–both in their critical thinking skills and technical knowledge.
We look forward to continuing to teach and encourage the next generation of coders to be stronger and more skilled than ever before, and we applaud the work of Code.org, as well as all the schools and establishments nationwide that took part in the Hour of Code. We invite the participants to venture now towards the next step–coding and experimenting in a real programming language, like the Wolfram Language on a Raspberry Pi, where users can learn to build creative and innovative inventions with very little code. Check out the cool things people are doing here!