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NEARLY 15,000 HOURS CODED IN FIRST THREE WEEKS OF CHICAGO’S INAUGURAL “CODE60+” CHALLENGE

Expanding on Hour of Code, students, teachers, and parents explore boundless digital learning opportunities this winter as campaign heads into winter break

12/23/2016, 9:30 a.m. | Updated on 12/23/2016, 9:30 a.m.
Chicago students are yet again leading the pack in computer science and digital learning, with nearly 15,000 hours of coding ...
Mayor Rahm Emanuel explores a coding challenge alongside a Smyth Elementary student in the Code60+ Challenge

NEARLY 15,000 HOURS CODED IN FIRST THREE WEEKS OF CHICAGO’S INAUGURAL “CODE60+” CHALLENGE

Expanding on Hour of Code, students, teachers, and parents explore boundless digital learning opportunities this winter as campaign heads into winter break

Chicago students are yet again leading the pack in computer science and digital learning, with nearly 15,000 hours of coding completed by youth in just the last three weeks. As part of the City of Chicago’s Code 60+ Challenge, an unprecedented six-week campaign that builds on the global Hour of Code, the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and Chicago City of Learning (CCOL) have already connected 164 schools, and nearly 8,000 youth from communities across the city to a network of coding opportunities in classrooms, in communities, at home and online that will continue throughout the winter break and through January 13.

“With Code60+ offering a month of computer science activities, we want students and families around the city to know that this winter break doesn’t have to be a break from learning,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago’s students have already logged nearly 15,000 hours of coding in the last three weeks, which is a true testament to the power of Chicago Public Schools’ computer science and STEM programs that are preparing students with the skills to compete and succeed in a 21st century economy.”

Launched December 5th, this campaign began as a part of Computer Science Education Week, where millions of students from more than 180 countries learn the basics of coding. This year in Chicago, Code60+ takes the Hour of Code a step further - providing five additional weeks of coding opportunity to local youth, and with these opportunities ramping up over the winter break.

The campaign utilizes a common Code60+ digital badge, issued through Chicago City of Learning to capture the nearly 15,000 hours of code already completed by Chicago youth and families over the past few weeks. The campaign is powered by CPS’ Office of Leadership and Learning, CPS Connects, and builds on the district’s cutting-edge CS4All framework. As badges are earned, a dynamic city map is tracking the location and volume of hours being completed across the city.

“We are expanding beyond traditional classrooms by connecting and learning from the interests and achievements of all Chicago’s youth,” said Sybil Madison-Boyd, Ph.D. at Digital Youth Network, which runs CCOL. “The Code 60+ collaboration has brought city and community partners together to create a citywide classroom that ensures all youth have access to 21st century skills regardless of the neighborhood

they live in. Youth in 51 zip codes have completed thousands of hours of code through this campaign, and

over winter break, we hope to reach the entire city.”

Highlights over the winter holiday for youth include the Chicago Housing Authority’s Digital Resource

Centers open to the public and offering free online coding challenges for youth and families at nine

separate sites across the city. Youth can also learn to conquer the mechanics of power circuits, switches

and power plates to ensure digital survival with Kids Stem Studio; creatively build coding commands that