From #CSforGood to AI for Oceans, Hour of Code 2019 showed how CS can create a better world

Hour of Code 2019 got students around the world dancing, learning new concepts in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and of course, coding!

Students participated in an Hour of Code activity more than 53 million times during CSEdWeek 2019 alone, and since 2013, students have tried an Hour of Code more than 910 million times.

Through the seven years since its inception, the Hour of Code campaign has inspired hundreds of hour-long learning activities, over one million events worldwide, and tens of millions of students around the world to take the first step toward learning computer science.

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That’s an incredible testament to the dedication and collaborative efforts of the computer science community!

During the Hour of Code 2019, we unveiled an updated Dance Party tutorial with an even easier-to-learn tutorial, hot new songs, backgrounds and foregrounds, and even a new character. Students tried the Dance Party activity more than 3.4 million times during the week, and Dance Party songs were played more than 74 million times! And the most popular song? “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X!

“I have a female student in third grade who has very little self esteem. She is often crying because she doesn’t know how to do anything on the computer — she doesn’t have one at home. She reluctantly agreed to try the Hour of Code: Dance Party, and was successful! She was beaming, dancing, and so very proud. This time, I was the one crying!” — Middle school teacher in Massachusetts

AI for Oceans, our newest tutorial that teaches students about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) concepts without writing a single line of code, was also a hit. Look out for more AI/ML-focused activities and tutorials coming this year.

“Our students loved working on Code.org’s new AI for Oceans lesson! They really enjoyed learning about AI and how it related to #CSforGood.”— Stacy K., middle and high school teacher in California

There were nearly 100 brand new tutorials from our activity partners, including 30 with a #CSforGood focus, which was our Hour of Code theme for 2019. Take a look at the new tutorials here.

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We also celebrated the 10th anniversary of Computer Science Education Week with an awesome kick-off event at the Santa Fe Indian School in New Mexico, hosted in conjunction with Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the Computer Science Alliance. Code.org founder and CEO Hadi Partovi and CSTA executive director Jake Baskin gave remarks.

Computer science is for everyone, and we were proud to host the kick-off event at one of the largest Native American schools in the country. The event began with a traditional invocation by a student of the Santa Clara Pueblo and Hopi Tewa tribes and ended with a traditional benediction given by a student of the Santa Domingo Pueblo tribe.

At the ceremony, we also honored a whole new group of fantastic computer science advocates through the Champions of CS Awards.

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Our 2019 Champions of CS award winners.

A core goal of Hour of Code is to inspire more girls and historically underrepresented minorities in computing to study the subject, and so we were thrilled to see more than a third of this year’s Hour of Code participants were students of color, according to our survey data. That represents an almost 10% increase from last year.

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And along with that, in December we announced 20 million girls now have accounts on Code.org! While we’re still far from balanced gender and racial representation in computer science, it’s encouraging and inspiring to see these numbers increase year over year.

“Many of the girls outperformed boys in their coding. They reached the last level before the boys just about every time.” — Gary H., elementary school teacher in Texas

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Just like in year’s past, those who ran an Hour of Code said they loved doing it. In fact, 99% of survey respondents said they had a “good” or “great” experience:

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“The palpable enthusiasm, excitement, collaborative learning, problem-solving and critical thinking moments are the highlights of my instructional technology lessons. No other part of my curriculum is so globally valuable or exciting.” — Bruce M., elementary school teacher in Massachusetts

Additionally, 74% of those who responded to the survey say they’re more interested in teaching computer science after participating.

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“We did a school-wide Hour of Code. Many teachers were nervous about it, because it is new to them and out of their comfort zone. I had so many teachers tell me how much the kids liked it and they were excited to do more!” — elementary school teacher in Kansas

Thank you to all the dedicated schools, teachers, community members, donors and CS advocates who helped make the 2019 Hour of Code an amazing experience. Now, help us take the next step and go beyond an hour! Learn how you can help bring computer science to a school near you, or if you’re a teacher who is interested in teaching computer science in your classroom, learn more about our Professional Learning programs and apply.

See you again in December!

-Alice Steinglass, Code.org President

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Code.org® is dedicated to expanding access to computer science increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups.

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