Students crack ‘code,’ open window onto IT careers

Students from South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School use a “Tower of Hanoi” to learn the foundations of computational thinking – which requires no computer.

High school students draw paths for their Ozobots.

Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology, offers encouragement to a group of students from Milton High School.

Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media, confers with students from South Williamsport.

A high-schooler draws multicolor paths to direct her color-sensing Ozobot.

Penn College took part in a worldwide movement on Monday as host of an Hour of Code event for students from five high schools. A collaborative effort between the college’s School of Business & Hospitality and School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, the event provided lessons in coding without technology and programming Ozobots, led by faculty members Anita R. Wood, associate professor of computer information technology; Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media; and Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology, as well as a campus tour. Wood emphasized to students that computer programmers are not necessarily smarter than others, but they are persistent in trying to solve puzzles and problems. The Hour of Code movement started as a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to demystify “code,” to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. Most events take place during or near Computer Science Education Week. The week is held annually to recognize the birthday of computing pioneer Adm. Grace Murray Hopper on Dec. 9, 1906. More than 219,000 events were registered in more than 180 countries in 2018. Schools participating at the Penn College event were Commonwealth Charter Academy, Hughesville High School, Milton High School, South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School and York County School of Technology.

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