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Mamaroneck Schools Activate 'Hour Of Code,' Expand Computer Studies

A video about Mamaroneck Union Free School District's commitment to computer science and "Hour of Code."
A video about Mamaroneck Union Free School District's commitment to computer science and "Hour of Code." Video Credit: Jesse Dancy

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Coding has become an integral part of the Mamaroneck School District’s curriculum, with a new elementary computer science program launching in January and more advanced coding and programming continuing through middle school and high school.

In 2016, elementary school pupils will learn how to program computers -- writing programs to solve problems, create digital art and craft interactive stories -- using web-based software through code.org ​ and S​cratch, a coding platform developed by MIT.

This week, Mamaroneck Schools, along with millions of students around the world are celebrating "Hour of Code" as part of Computer Science Week. Every student at every school and grade level throughout the district will spend a minimum of one hour participating in an organized instructional activity around coding.

“We are simultaneously getting ready to launch our new elementary computer science and coding curriculum for students in grades three through five,” said Mamaroneck Superintendent of Schools Robert Shaps. “This exciting new initiative will make coding a part of the regular school day for our youngest students and help lay a critical foundation for the skills these students will acquire in the upper grades and even beyond high school.”

Currently, students at Hommocks Middle School participate in a two-week sequence in basic computer programming principles -- also using Scratch -- and are then able to put their coding skills to the test as they design, build and program robots to complete a variety of tasks.

Since the inception of the computer science program at Mamaroneck High School three years ago, the number of students taking computer science classes has grown from 20 students in the first year to 125 students this year. And more than 40 students are participating in the computer science, robotics and coding clubs.

“The level and depth that you go into at each level [elementary, middle, and high school] is different, but knowing the terminology that’s used in computer science and computing is essential, and we should be introducing students to this as early as possible,” said Jigar Jadav, high school computer science teacher.

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