Announcing Code.org’s newest curriculum, CS Connections, PLUS this year’s Hour of Code activities!

The curriculum incorporates this year’s Hour of Code activities and makes the connections between learning computer science and other subjects like language arts, science, math, and more.

In today’s digital world, computer science is everywhere. From the smartphone you use every day, to the software used by scientists to help fight diseases, to the DJ who makes music on a laptop; computer science has uses and applications in even the most surprising of fields.

To help students make meaningful connections between CS and other disciplines — and to help teachers from a variety of backgrounds more easily begin teaching the subject — Code.org is introducing a new set of cross-curricular modules, projects, and lessons called Computer Science (CS) Connections. We’re also launching two — yes, two! — new Hour of Code activities to accompany CS Connections.

This curriculum allows students to learn computer science concepts at the same time as learning other subjects like language arts, math, and science. Through CS Connections, K-12 classrooms can explore their core subjects in exciting new ways!

CS Connections has options for teachers who’d like to incorporate computer science into their lesson plans for other subjects, as well as CS educators who want to reinforce what students are learning in other subjects. Our goal is to provide students with a deeper and broader understanding of a particular subject area, a better sense of how computers can be used as a tool to solve human problems, and motivation to learn more about the intersection of CS and other disciplines.

Projects are organized by topic and grade level, and allow teachers to blend CS Connections lessons into their regular lesson plan. Check out the curriculum here!

New Hour of Code activities for 2021

This year’s new Hour of Code activities from Code.org tie in directly to CS Connections:

Poem Art: Our Poem Art Hour of Code activity is also the first lesson in CS Connections’ Coding with Poetry module, which allows students to see two subjects — computer science and poetry — in a new way. In Poem Art, you can explore a key element of poetry — mood — by using code to add visuals and movement to classic poems.

Hello World: ​​In Computer Science 101, the first program many students create is a simple one that outputs an iconic line of text: “Hello World!” Say hello to the world of computer science with this introductory activity that equips students with the basic coding skills and confidence to create apps. Hello World Hour of Code activities are recommended as a fun introduction before embarking on the open-ended projects in CS Connections, which require some understanding of computer science basics.

Why cross-curricular?

At Code.org, we’ve heard time and again that the barriers teachers face in teaching computer science include lack of time, lack of buy-in, and lack of CS content knowledge. These cross-curricular computer science lessons will support teachers who may not be able to teach a stand-alone CS course, and are great resources for districts that would like to see 21st-century skills and CS standards integrated into daily curriculum.

Ultimately, we hope these lessons will help teachers feel more confident teaching CS and inspire more excitement and curiosity in their students.

Teaching programming to K-12 students gives them fundamental skills to succeed in the modern digital era. The benefits of learning computer science extend beyond just the subject itself, and in fact, seven different studies have shown that children who study computer science perform better in other subjects like reading, writing, and science; excel at problem-solving; and develop stronger creativity, spatial, and reasoning skills than their peers who do not study CS.

You can start today

CS Connections is available now, with more lessons coming next year. Interested teachers from any discipline can view the curriculum and activities here. The new Hour of Code activities are also available now!

Plus, register today for a special episode of CodeBytes. Tune in on Tuesday, December 7, at 10 a.m. ET and again at 10 a.m. PT and we’ll show students how to get started with the Poem Art Hour of Code activity, which doubles as the first lesson in CS Connections’ module on poetry.

We hope these lessons and activities expand ideas about what computer science is and what’s possible with it. CS is everywhere, and we look forward to helping students and teachers make new and exciting connections to all kinds of subjects through this new curriculum!

— Emily McLeod, Director of Teaching and Learning, Code.org

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