Hour of Code Success at Northern Regional College’s Magherafelt Campus

Thursday

Students studying IT at Northern Regional College joined thousands of other students from round the world this week to host Hour of Code events to mark Computer Science Education Week. Hour of Code, which has now grown into a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in over 180 countries, started out as a one-hour introduction to computer science.

IT lecturer, Judith Knox said that the Hour of Code events at the College’s Magherafelt and Newtownabbey campuses were designed to demystify ‘code’.
 
“We want to show that anybody can learn the basics and in the long term, we hope that this will broaden participation in the field of computer science.
 
“We live in a world surrounded by technology so whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on having an understanding of how technology works.”
 
Judith explained that as part of their course, HND Computing students are required to organise an event so the Hour of Code was a perfect fit.
 
“They invited Primary 7 and Year 10 pupils from local schools and we were delighted with the response with over two hundred and fifty turning up on the day. We’d a packed schedule and each pupil had an opportunity to try two of the following technologies - C#, Lego EV3 Robots, Game Maker, MIT App Inventor, and Raspberry Pi.
 
“The success of our Hour of Code is a clear statement that schools and colleges in the Magherafelt area are ready to teach these foundational 21st century skills. Last year, over 100 partners joined together to support the Hour of Code movement and this year, we helped make it an even bigger success.”
 
The event was supported by both Kainos and BT who also provided sessions for the visiting pupils.  Kainos supplied the HTC Vive virtual reality equipment which proved a big hit with the visiting schoolchildren.
 
Pupils from the following schools took part in Hour of Code sessions at Magherafelt: Magherafelt PS, Word PS, Bellaghy PS, Holy Family PS, St Pius X College and St Colm’s High School.
 

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