The Oakland Unified School District, The Kapor Center for Social Impact, The Hidden Genius Project, and Code.org join to host Hour of Code during Computer Science Week
(December 10, 2015)–This week, December 7-11, The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), The Kapor Center for Social Impact, The Hidden Genius Project, and Code.org are hosting #HourOfCodeOAK in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. During this week, over 9,000 OUSD students and 10 OUSD high schools will be spending one hour learning to code with curriculum developed by their own peers, called ‘Code Champions’.
(Oakland, CA) Yesterday, teachers and students at Fremont High School gathered to celebrate their school being awarded $10K in computer hardware for winning Code.org’s challenge for the best student-generated computer science curriculum. Teachers and students were joined by OUSD superintendent Antwan Wilson, Kapor Center for Social Impact Partner and tech pioneer, Mitch Kapor, Code.org Founder, Hadi Partovi, The Hidden Genius Project Executive Director, Brandon Nicholson, CA State Board President Mike Kirst, CA Board Member Trish Williams, and other executives from Google, Microsoft, and Infosys in the presentation of this award.
“In order for tech to better serve America, it needs to look like America. Oakland looks like America,” said Kapor Center for Social Impact Founder Mitch Kapor. “For Oakland for to realize its bright future, it needs to become part of the innovation economy. We are here in Oakland because we are committed to diversifying the tech sector, closing gaps of access and opportunity, and plugging the leaks in the leaky talent pipeline.”
Additionally, Code.org and OUSD announced today that they have finalized a partnership to bring computer science into more OUSD classrooms starting in early 2016. This partnership will include close to 100 elementary schools and over 20 secondary school teachers for the 2016-17 school year.
“With the incredible changes and career opportunities we see throughout the Bay Area, a chance to learn computer science is essential to ensure all of our students are prepared to succeed in college, career, and community,” OUSD Superintendent Antwan Wilson said. “I’m excited about our partnership with Code.org to expand computer science access across all our district schools.”
“Oakland is the first Bay Area school district to partner with Code.org to expand computer science at all grade levels,” said Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org. “We are excited for Oakland to join many of the largest school districts in the United States who share a commitment to providing all students with the opportunity to learn computer science and access the best opportunities available to them in the 21st century.”
“As a lifetime Oakland resident and Computer Science teacher for over twenty years, I’m thrilled to know that Oakland’s youth will receive more than just a good education, they’ll receive an education that they deserve,” stated Eugene Lemon, Innovation Educator with the Hidden Genius Project. “This is an momentous time for Oakland students because of the developing partnerships between OUSD Code.org.”
The event was part of #HourOfCodeOAK, a week filled with coding focused events. During this week, over 9,000 OUSD students and 10 OUSD high schools will be spending one hour learning to code with curriculum developed by their own peers, called ‘Code Champions’. The week concludes with Brothers Code on Saturday, December 12 at Merritt College. Brothers Code, The Kapor Center for Social Impact and The Hidden Genius Project, is an annual event that exposes young men of color to tech-centered skills and pathways.
#HourofCodeOAK is increasing access to tech pathways for young people of color, women (especially women of color) through the Oakland school district and could have a greater impact on students beyond the Hour of Code modules. The Kapor Center for Social Impact along with The Hidden Genius Project were intentional about running #HourofCodeOAK in OUSD’s African-American Male Achievement Manhood Development and Latino Men and Boys classes to serve as an opportunity for these young men to have an initial introduction to tech and tech careers in a familiar environment.