The impact of an Hour of Code

Every year, we conduct a survey after the Hour of Code to discover rough participation demographics, how event organizers experienced the campaign, and more. The results for 2017 are in, and we’ve shared some interesting stats below from the 8,000 organizers who completed our survey and shared their experiences.

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These students and teachers participated on a variety of different platforms and activities from over 200 partners including Code.org, Tynker, CS First, GameFroot, CodeSpark, Kodable, CodeHS, and many more. No matter what platform or activity they used, we are seeing amazing results.

A few caveats: The survey was in English only and does not measure the experience of non-English-speaking organizers. The survey was also only sent to event organizers and classroom teachers who registered on the Hour of Code website. Many students or adults engage with the Hour of Code on their own, and their experience is not measured by this survey.

Alice Steinglass, President, Code.org

Q: What were the demographics of the participating students?

A: Internationally: 49% female. US: 48% female.

Among U.S. participants: 30% underrepresented students of color

Why is this important? The main goal of the Hour of Code is to break stereotypes in computer science that limit participation by girls and underrepresented minorities. Actually trying an Hour can encourage students to try taking a CS course. It can also make them more interested in continuing their studies — particularly among high school girls. We are happy to see that once again this year, participation in Hour of Code is more diverse than the tech industry or computer science classrooms today. Hopefully, this can be a first step towards changing the demographics across the board.

Note: Percentages are calculated based on the participating educators’ reports of total student participation by demographic. Underrepresented minorities are only reported among U.S. participants and include black, Latinx, Pacific Islander, or Native American/Alaskan Native students.

Q: Overall, how would you rate your Hour of Code experience?

A: 98% rated their experience as Good or Great.

Why is this important? We want to know that teachers enjoy their Hour of Code experience. We respect teachers’ time and know how hard it is to try something new in the classroom.

Q: Where was your Hour of Code event?

A: Events were mostly held in public schools

Why is this important? Public schools, in particular, reach disadvantaged and underrepresented students who might not otherwise ever try computer science. While anyone can do an Hour of Code anywhere, at any time, we’re pleased to see such widespread adoption within public education.

Q: Does your school already teach/offer a computer science class that includes programming or coding?

A: Only 48% of US schools reported that their school offers such a course, while internationally, 62% of schools offer a course.

Why is this important? While the number of schools that offer computer science has increased in the last few years, the Hour of Code remains a great introduction for those schools who haven’t been able to support an entire course yet. Roughly half of the teachers who took our survey don’t get any other opportunities to expose their students to computer science.

Q: How has your experience with the Hour of Code affected your interest in teaching computer science?

A: 92% said they were “more interested” in teaching CS.

Why is this important? The Hour of Code isn’t just about breaking stereotypes for students — we want to make computer science approachable to teachers, too! Teachers are critical to students having the opportunity to learn in the first place.

Q: If given the opportunity, would you continue teaching coding or computer science beyond just one hour?

A: 61% said they would teach computer science if given the opportunity (and 21% already started teaching it after a previous Hour of Code).

Why is this important? Most of the Hour of Code organizers are not computer science teachers. In fact, only 15% this year had taught it before the Hour of Code. We’re seeing many teachers from all sorts of backgrounds beginning to teach computer science.

Q: Did any of your students do coding for longer than one hour?

A: 92% of organizers said their students coded for more than one hour

Why is this important? One Hour of Code isn’t enough for a student to really learn any computer science. In one hour we hope students will see if they like it. And it looks like they do! 92% of teachers said their students went beyond an Hour of Code!

Selected Teacher and Volunteer Testimonials

“Hour of Code exceeded my expectations on the very first day. I was completely in awe at the problem solving, perseverance and grit from students whom I have yet to see demonstrate these characteristics. We went beyond the Hour of Code and participated for many hours all week. Students went from programming blocks to Scratch and even Java Script. It was sensational!”

“Please continue to offer this and continue to keep it as easy to access as it is. It was so easy to access, our entire staff was able to participate, even though 95%+ had no coding experience. We had all of the teachers do an hour of code during a staff meeting in November to get them ready, and because of how easy it was to show the teachers (and for them to show students), all of our students were able to participate in our first ever hour! We have many students continuing to code during their study hall, and we are hoping this will increase enrollment in coding courses in our high school.”

“I already love what the Hour of Code has done to change the face of computer science in my school! My students love to do coding all year long and work hard to learn more and challenge each other in their thinking and even challenge other teachers.”

“This is one of the most amazing programs I have ever been involved with in my 30+ years of education! We look forward to this event every year, even though my students are already enrolled in the CS Fundamentals! Please keep this event going due to its impact on exposing all students to computer science and computational thinking!”

“Turn it into “lifetime of code” 😍”

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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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