From December 6-8, all Charlottesville City Schools will take part in this year’s Hour of Code events. Hour of Code is a national emphasis, taking place this year during December 5-11, to expose students to computer science. From elementary through high school, Charlottesville students will engage in a variety of programming activities, working on their own, in groups, or receiving mentoring from other students.

“The Hour of Code has really taken off, both in our area and around the world,” notes Charlottesville City Schools’ director of technology Jeff Faust. “The idea is to help students see that coding is not something that just a few experts can do – it’s something anyone can do, and it’s a skill that employers are looking for.”

Hour of Code events have spread around the world, with actors, athletes, and politicians pitching the program and stopping by schools to code with students.

Charlottesville City Schools has been an early adopter of technology and is a charter member of the League of Innovative Schools. With Chromebooks in students’ hands from third grade through high school, and with a growing array of computer science classes at CHS and CATEC, students can graduate with industry credentials and an increasingly valued skill set. A team of CHS students is presently ranked #5 in the world in the NASA- and MIT-sponsored Zero Robotics programming competition.

“In Charlottesville, we are well equipped to train our students in computer science,“ notes Susan Ramsey, the division’s science coordinator. “Charlottesville is a tech hub, and our schools are building a framework so that Charlottesville students grow up coding.  All students should graduate with a basic coding ‘literacy.’ For students who choose to dive in deeper, we have a built number of pathways, from workplace readiness to AP computer science classes.”