Immaculate Heart High School's Hour of Code

Published : Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 4:02 PM

Pasadena Now - Immaculate Heart High School's Hour of Code

Students in all grades and at all levels of coding proficiency were able to find activities they enjoyed during the Hour of Code.

For the fourth year in a row, Immaculate Heart High School hosted an Hour of Code event to encourage students to develop an interest in computer science.

During the event, students from all grades and all skill levels worked on fun coding projects using programming languages like Python, JavaScript, and CSS. Working individually, students created games, solved puzzles, and tested their analytical thinking skills. These activities were provided by Code.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to making computer science more accessible to those who are underrepresented in the field, especially women.

Pasadena Now - Immaculate Heart High School's Hour of Code

Three students work on their own laptops as two student volunteers look over a classmate’s shoulder, offering advice - Students with strong backgrounds in computer science volunteered to help their classmates work on their coding projects.

The event has grown considerably since its beginning on campus. Four years ago, not many students understood the appeal of coding, which was still thought of as a boring, solitary activity. To make matters more challenging, there were a limited number of laptops available for interested students to borrow, and the school’s internet network could only support a relatively small amount of traffic.

Despite all those challenges, the event was a success, and the school became determined to offer it every year.

Now, all students have a school-issued laptop, and the network is able to handle a much bigger load, allowing more students to access the internet at the same time. The computer science department has also expanded considerably, and more and more students are discovering the thrill of designing their own apps, websites, and games with code.

This year, the Tech Team, Immaculate Heart High School’s computer science club, organized the Hour of Code event, and many of them volunteered to help their fellow classmates work through any difficulties they encountered while coding.

“It was really cool to see students, who were maybe a little reluctant to try the activities at first, get so into their projects,” junior Kira Toal, Tech Team member, said. “A lot of them actually stayed into lunch to finish what they were working on.”

The Tech Team is already hard at work planning next year’s Hour of Code event, and they’re excited to take an even bigger role in the proceedings. They want computer science classes to actually design the activities that the students will participate in, making the event almost completely student created and run.

“I love the idea,” Computer Science Chairperson Megan Reeves said. “I think it would be great to have the students take even more ownership next year.”

About Immaculate Heart

Founded in 1906, Immaculate Heart High School & Middle School educates young women in grades sixth through 12th from its central location in the Los Feliz foothills near Griffith Park in Hollywood. The school has a long and distinguished history, with more than 10,000 graduates. Today’s student body of more than 700 young women is both geographically and ethnically diverse, drawing on students from throughout Los Angeles County. Last year, virtually 100 percent of Immaculate Heart graduates matriculated to colleges, including the most prestigious schools in the country.

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