How Code.org’s Corporate Supporters Helped Spread the Love for 2019’s Hour of Code
Code.org’s corporate partners are in large part what makes our impact possible. Their generous support and passionate engagement in our mission is unparalleled, and we want to take a moment today to express our thanks!
During Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code, we especially feel the presence and support of our corporate partners, not only in promoting the campaign and CS, but by truly becoming a part of the educational community, launching activities and engaging in classrooms across the globe. We’re always amazed and humbled by the scale of support from partners who share in our belief that every child deserves the opportunity to learn computer science.
From the financial gift from Endless specifically to support Code.org’s Hour of Code efforts to the hundreds of activities submitted to the thousands of employee volunteers hosting hundreds of events worldwide, our partners helped make the 2019 Hour of Code an amazing experience for students around the world.
Each year, Microsoft’s involvement with the Hour of Code continues to grow. In 2019, they developed another exciting installment of one of the most popular series of activities, Minecraft Hour of Code. The latest lesson was inspired by Microsoft’s AI for Earth initiative. It gives students the chance to learn code and explore AI concepts as they protect a small village from forest fires. For the first time, the experience takes place within Minecraft: Education Edition, giving students access to a full Minecraft world and coding in the MakeCode environment. Since 2015, students engaged with Minecraft Hour of Code activities more than 150 million times!
Minecraft China and Microsoft China teams ran a Minecraft Hour of Code event in Beijing, at one of the top primary schools attended by hundreds of students, teachers, press, government, and executives from Microsoft, Lenovo, and JD. Microsoft Stores also hosted more than 400 workshops in the US, Canada, and the UK, while the US Community Engagement Team had a record-high number of employees participate in Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week events!
In 2019, Amazon made its largest Hour of Code impact to date! Globally, more than 2,300 employees took part in over 300 events across 25 countries, reaching more than 41,000 students. Code.org partnered with Amazon Future Engineer on a new edition of Dance Party, which included new backgrounds, improved lesson progressions, and even a new character! Both students and Amazonian volunteers had a blast with the activity in classrooms around the world.
More Googlers than ever taught an Hour of Code this year! Over 800 employees in 30 offices hosted events, giving them a firsthand look at how students enjoyed CS First’s new activity, Code Your Hero. There was even an amazing event where Chance the Rapper surprised 300+ students from Chicago Public Schools!
In addition to reaching over 15,000 students through their events, Google awarded more than 200 mini-grants worth $500 to librarians around the country who taught an Hour of Code. Additionally, 910 teachers from DonorsChoose were awarded Classroom Rewards to teach an Hour of Code. Further supporting the mission of advancing access to CS, Google announced it would be reinvesting $250,000 to continue this work with SocialWorks and CS4All.
Infosys Foundation USA
Dedicated to advancing CS education in K-12 classrooms across the U.S., the Infosys Foundation USA celebrated Computer Science Education Week by partnering with a different organization each day of the week. By teaming up with amazing nonprofits, the Infosys Foundation USA hosted family code nights, a hack-a-thon, an ag-tech field trip, and an inclusive coding event for students with special needs from ages 7–21.
NBCUniversal also turned up the volume with the Hour of Code: Dance Party this year! 50 elementary school students visited 30 Rockefeller Plaza and teamed up with employee volunteers to code a dance routine to popular songs. The students enjoyed dancing along to their programming projects and earned an “official” certificate of completion and NBCU swag!
To kick off 2019’s Computer Science Education week, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, Utah lawmakers and policymakers, and leaders of Utah’s tech community convened at the state’s Capitol for a press conference and a student activation featuring 30 local 5th graders taking part in hands-on coding activities. One major announcement from this day was the launch of the Silicon Slopes Computer Science Fund.
The first of its kind in the nation, the Silicon Slopes Computer Science Fund was launched with initial contributions and pledges from Aaron Skonnard, co-founder and CEO of Pluralsight, and his wife Monica; along with other prominent tech leaders who each pledged $1 million to the fund. The formation of the Silicon Slopes Computer Science Fund establishes a vehicle to strategically deploy the $4 million and provides an opportunity for individuals, foundations, and organizations that are dedicated to affecting change in computer change in computer science outcomes across Utah.
To do their part for the Hour of Code, Blizzard Entertainment welcomed a bright group of middle school students from Advanced Learning Academy for a fun-filled day, including a career talk with one of their game developers and exciting tours around the Irvine campus. The day concluded with students working alongside Blizzard volunteers to create a fun Dance Party using code, followed by a lunch where students had the opportunity to continue their chat with the developers.
One really meaningful moment was when the engineer working with our 8th grader, Ethan, encouraged Ethan to stand up and present his program. Acting as Ethan's voice, the engineer helped him feel empowered enough to share his program with the group. What an incredible experience for him! -Ms. Stacy Kline, Teacher
Through Facebook’s initiative, TechPrep, employee Ambassadors support their local communities throughout the year. During Computer Science Education Week specifically, Ambassadors ran introductory coding workshops and career talks to 3rd — 12th grade youth from underrepresented minority backgrounds.This year, they introduced students to careers in technology including the opportunity to ask Facebook employees about their career paths. Facebook also provided students with free TechPrep resources to continue their learning.
A huge thank you to our generous partners
Whether it’s helping to fund our work, or hosting events led by passionate teams, the Hour of Code offers every organization the chance to create a unique experience that aligns with their goals. To countless partners like these, and others including Accenture, Salesforce, ADP, Rockwell Automation, USAA, Qualtrics, Micron, Llamasoft, Finastra, and more, who helped make this year’s Hour of Code an amazing experience for students worldwide — we can’t thank you enough!
Mariah Acuff, Code.org