Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Vista and more rally to bring the Hour of Code to students worldwide
2018 proved to be the biggest year yet for the Hour of Code. Not only did we see a record number of events across the globe, but over 30,000 users lit up social media with tweets and posts about the #HourofCode, including celebrities like Katy Perry, Ciara, Ashton Kutcher, Sia, MC Hammer, and more! Our proudest accomplishment however, was that for the first time in its history, the post-Hour of Code survey indicated that 50% of this year’s participants were female!
Part of the success behind the Hour of Code is the work our partners do to not only promote the event, but truly become a part of the Hour of Code community by launching activities and programs across the globe. This work is made possible because of the countless engineers, community managers, and more who are just as passionate about increasing the number of young women and underrepresented minorities involved in computer science as we are. By taking the time to volunteer, speak with and inspire students, and even travel across the country to visit classrooms, our partners and their teams have helped the Hour of Code reach more students than ever this year.
Introducing Students To Strong Role Models
Students at Cascade Middle School were in for a treat when one of their computer science classrooms got a surprise visit from Ciara, a musician featured in this year’s hugely popular activity, Dance Party. Created in partnership with Amazon Future Engineer, Dance Party got students both coding and dancing to music from over 30 of today’s most popular artists, showing that creativity and computer science can go hand in hand.
1,176 of them volunteering for the Hour of Code at 235 schools across 13 countries, making 2018 Amazon’s biggest Hour of Code ever. Many Amazonians brought the Hour of Code back to their hometowns, often visiting underserved schools. One senior engineer traveled to his former elementary school in the South Side of Chicago, a Title 1 school where nearly 100% of the students are underrepresented minorities and most students qualify for free and reduced lunch. He shared his own story about going from where they were now to being in a senior level role.
For the last five years, Microsoft has been an integral part of our community by participating in Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code — part of their long-standing commitment to increase access to computer science education for all youth. This year, in partnership with nonprofits and schools, the company hosted events in over 3000 cities around the world, engaging tens of thousands of youth in career connected learning experiences, providing access to role models, and doing hands-on coding and computer science activities.
Microsoft continues to partner with Code.org to develop new and exciting iterations of one of the most popular activities on Code.org, Minecraft. Including 2018’s latest adventure, Minecraft Voyage Aquatic, the Minecraft series of four activities has now engaged students well over 100 million times.
Microsoft Skype in the Classroom and Code.org also partnered to launch Meet Code Creators, where nearly 14,000 classrooms and an estimated 700,000 students from 111 countries registered to watch 9 amazing Code Creators speak on topics including fashion, film, animation, conservation, and more.
In addition to promoting the Hour of Code on their homepage, Google also rallied their employees to volunteer. This resulted in over 650 Googlers running 170 Hour of Code events that reached an estimated 10,000 students across the country!
Google also partnered with amazing education organizations such as DonorsChoose, American Libraries Association, Scholastic, and 4-H to bring Hour of Code to classrooms and clubs with, their latest activity from CS First, Unusual Discovery.
Creativity was key to the Hour of Code this year, with countless testimonials from celebrities, teachers, and more telling us what creativity means to them. Pluralsight took it one step further by asking their authors, employees, and learners to share their own thoughts on creativity and compiling it into an awesome Hour of Code video.
As our partners in the advocacy of computer science education, Pluralsight One worked with local state leaders including Governor Herbert to expand computer science access in Utah. During Computer Science Education Week, Governor Herbert introduced a new budget proposal that included a $3.9 million grant to support the expansion of computer science course offerings and a target to offer at least three unique CS classes in every school in the state.
Uber hosted four Hour of Code events that took place in San Francisco, Chicago, DC, and Pittsburgh for driver-partners, their families, and extended communities to attend. Staff volunteered at each event to help introduce guests of all ages to coding through fun Hour of Code games and activities. Each city found fun ways to make their events unique and engaging, including a live DJ to bring the dance party to life as well as face painting, Uber swag, and even a visit from Santa!
PwC brought the party to Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City this year by working with classrooms on Hour of Code: Dance Party. The team devoted the week to several schools across the cities where they partnered to code dance moves to their favorite songs. Mrs. Plover from McClure Elementary even made her own skirt showcasing women in Computer Science!
We were also pleased to see volunteers from Facebook, Comcast, Redfin, TurnitIn, Rockwell Automation, Cox Automotive, UPS Airlines, SAS, Bayer, Twitch, Salesforce, Shopify, Bosch, Relativity, Northwestern Mutual, Liberty Mutual, Equinix, AT&T and more join in to support the Hour of Code in various communities.
Taking the Hour of Code International
Blizzard employees volunteered throughout the country as well as internationally. Blizzard Irvine welcomed local middle schoolers for a day of Dance Party, career talks and tours of the office. In Orange County, 4th and 5th graders learned from Blizzard employees about the different career paths in computer science as well as participated in a Q&A. And at a truly special event, the Blizzard Korea team visited youth at Severance Children’s Hospital and worked with the children’s pediatricians and families to bring the Hour of Code to them.
Vista Equity Partners and 14 of its companies participated in the Hour of Code by hosting 100 Hour of Code events across 9 different countries and 3 continents. This involved the work of over 300 volunteers from their team to reach a total of 2,600 students during CSEdWeek.
For its fourth consecutive year, Accenture partnered with us to support the Hour of Code by bringing nearly 4,000 employees to volunteer in their local communities, reaching almost 200,000 students around the world. They also made Accenture Intelligent Space Exploration more accessible to classrooms around the globe by expanding it into 15 different languages, empowering students to learn in their native language and reaching more than 134,000 users.
This year, thousands of employees volunteered their time to help spread the Hour of Code to students and communities across the globe. We are incredibly thankful for the dedication from partners like these and more who continue to support us in this work. Together, we’re one step closer to every student having equitable access to computer science.