The Hour of Code was the focus of Ripon High School Wednesday marking Computer Science Education Week with the support of the San Joaquin Partnership and a Ripon High community committee.
Committee spokeswoman Stephanie Hobbs said that every student at Ripon High School was challenged to spend one hour learning computer science and doing online tutorials featuring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Angry Birds at www.code.org.
Hobbs and other Ripon volunteers including Jonnie Lan, Bill Long and Suzanne Turner approached the high school and offered to help organize the student participation in the computer awareness week.
Students were shown a nine minute promotional video during their advisory classes earlier this month. They were encouraged to start enjoying the activities on the code.org site for a minimum amount of time.
The Wednesday all-school assembly brought computer science to the forefront as an exciting option for a career. Rob Baker, a Modesto native and computer coder, spoke on his successful career path that students could emulate. Baker has worked for Apple on many projects including their Garageband software.
Ripon High junior Tim Hobbs put it all in perspective from a student’s focus on the program.
“After watching the code.org promotional video, it made me realize the potential computer coding has in my own life and in the lives of many others. It provides a career path that is obtainable by anybody, not just ‘brainiacs.’ It’s like learning another language and can easily provide for my future since there is a high demand for it in the real world,” Hobbs said.
The RHS junior said he has decided to go into computer coding as his career after being exposed to code.org, because it is based on logic, problem solving and puzzles which he has enjoyed in past years.
Ripon High business instructor Sean Derrick lauded Baker’s presentation to the students saying his jokes and sarcasms were subtle and entertaining.
“I feel they showed that programming is not a ‘geek’ interest. His presentation was well structured and fun. I really appreciate him donating his time to help us increase the interest in coding and in Computer Science Week,” Derrick said.
The Ripon High teacher added that it would be great if there could be a Computer Science/Coding Club developed on campus. He said he would talk to his students who seem interested and see if it can be a possibility in the near future.
Hopefully, students will see that coding is becoming more and more a common place and is a necessity for most jobs, Derrick said. He further noted that he hopes the U.S. public education system will make coding a mandatory language class requirement as it becomes paramount in most jobs and in the culture.