Knoxville Community School District students took part in an Hour of Code during National Computer Science Week last month.

A total of 958 KCSD students participated, completing a total of 125,140 lines of code while working for at least an hour during the week. This included 44,005 lines of code for high school students, 47,053 lines for middle school students, 23,110 lines for Northstar Elementary students and 10,972 lines for West Elementary students.

Over the past school year, KCSD has been focusing on exposing all K-12 students to computer science, aided by the district’s 1:1 technology initiative. Each building has focused on various foundational skills in the field.

KCSD’s focus on computer science aligns with the Iowa Department of Education’s vision of giving all students the opportunity to engage in computer science and prepare themselves to become enterprising citizens.

“We continue to focus on delivering opportunities for students at all grade levels to learn key skills that will serve them well when it comes to the high-demand jobs of the future,” said Cassi Pearson, KCSD Superintendent. “We were thrilled to have so many students take part in the Hour of Code. It is especially wonderful to see our younger students get a head start on using technology to solve problems and find creative solutions.”

One example of activities taking place came in the form of students learning how developers use code to build artificial intelligence to identify forest fires in a more timely manner so that firefighters can be deployed quickly and effectively. During their science class, seventh graders tried their hand at coding by creating a Dance Party , and they also tackled the idea of training a computer program to build AI to help clean up trash from the ocean .

Coding is just one element of computer science, a broad field that covers how and why technologies work and how they can solve real-world problems. Students engaged in the field learn about computer programming, data, networks and the effects of technology on individuals and society.

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