Enriching Young Minds with an Hour of Code in Arlington, VA

Post Date: 12/12/2014
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A movement that has already reached tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries, Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science that aims to prove that anyone can learn the basics of coding. In honor of Computer Science Education Week, which takes place this week from December 8-14, the movement set a goal of reaching tens of millions of students in just one week. People across the globe have been pitching in throughout the week to make this aspiration a reality, including the President of the United States. Our AvePoint Public Sector team was eager to join the effort and help share our knowledge with our local community.

On Monday, December 8, members of the team – including CEO Chris Foreman, General Manager Nick Goudy, Services Engineer Rodney Johnson, Sales Manager Brian Hill, EPG Account Executive Chris Gillyard, and myself – led an Hour of Code event for three fourth grade classrooms at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Arlington, VA. Though there was plenty of technical knowledge and experience in our group, we still practiced the coding tutorials leading up to the event to be sure we could help the students with any questions that they had. On the day of the event, we split into teams of two across the four classrooms and joined with the teachers and technology coordinator to help each student get through the coding tutorials.

AvePoint Public Sector EPG Account Executive Chris Gillyard and students
AvePoint Public Sector EPG Account Executive Chris Gillyard and students

The response from the students was wonderful – they were genuinely excited about the program and did well with all of the tutorials. One of the fourth graders even said he had prior experience with coding that he learned from his mom, a government IT professional. They showed great interest in learning what coding was all about and tried as many different tutorials as they could within the hour. Favorites included “Code Combat” for the boys, and “Tynker” for the girls.

AvePoint Public Sector CEO Chris Foreman and students.
AvePoint Public Sector CEO Chris Foreman and students.

Our team had a great time as well – so much so, in fact, that another team including CTO Dux Raymond Sy,  Solutions Architect Sam Valme, Technical Solutions Professional Mark Larsen, VP of US Federal Civilian Sales Tarek Shamounki, EPG Account Executive Pete Sandeen, and Sr. EPG Account Executive Kaitlin Whitney, and SMB Account Executive Guillamo Simpson went back on Thursday, December 11, to work with the school’s fifth graders. Our Chicago team is joining in on the fun, too, with their own event on Friday, December 12 – more on that soon!

AvePoint Public Sector General Manager Nick Goudy and students.
AvePoint Public Sector General Manager Nick Goudy and students.

We were thrilled to take part in this effort, and it is my hope that the event will inspire some of the students to consider a career in computer science or information technology after the confidence and experience they gained during the activity. Want to learn more about Hour of Code and host your own event? Visit the website for more details.

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