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Press Release: Two Schools In Garrett County Split Maryland's Second Hour Of Code Contest

Northrop Grumman, State Superintendent Award $10k In Education Technology

For Immediate Release             Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486, 410-241-7108 (cell)

Baltimore, MD (March 11, 2016)

Southern Garrett High School and Accident Elementary School, both in Garrett County, MD today were named co-winners of the second “Maryland Hour of Code” contest. Interim State Superintendent Jack Smith will award $10,000 total in education technology to the two schools for their collaborative efforts to provide children with computer science experience.

MSDE launched the contest in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corporation as a way to spark interest in computer science as part of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.  The Maryland Hour of Code was organized in alignment with national nonprofit, which offers its own annual Hour of Code contest and awards $10,000 in classroom technology to one school in each state. awarded its prize to George Washington Carver Elementary School in Lexington Park, Maryland. Multiple “Hour of Code” events were held across the state during Computer Science Education week (December 7-13, 2015). 

"Congratulations to the students and teachers at Southern Garrett High and Accident Elementary, who went above and beyond in their exploration of code," said Governor Larry Hogan.  "Computer science is critical for today's students and increasingly important for Maryland's growing tech-based economy."

Those sentiments were shared by Kathy Warden, Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems sector.  

“A strong STEM educational base is critical to the economy of Maryland and critical to our nation’s technology leadership,” Warden said.  “That’s why for the second straight year Northrop Grumman is pleased to sponsor the Maryland Hour of Code contest designed to excite student interest in computer science and related career fields.”

Dr. Smith said students must be immersed in cutting-edge competencies before graduation.  “We cannot thank our business partners enough for supporting our students and ensuring they are exposed to in-demand career skills,” Dr. Smith said.  “Southern Garrett High School students and Accident Elementary students learned together that computer science can be used to apply math and science in interesting and meaningful ways and lead to many exciting careers.”

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) launched the first Maryland Hour of Code contest last year in coordination with the BWI Business Partnership and with the generous sponsorship of the Northrop Grumman Corporation.  More than 100 Maryland elementary and secondary schools applied this year across the state. MSDE organized the contest with the goal of exposing students statewide to computer science and coding.

The Maryland Hour of Code contest allowed public school teachers to describe their plans for computer coding activities and how every student in their school will participate.  

Currently, 4,045 of Maryland’s 870,000 public school students are enrolled in computer science and programming-related courses in career and technical education programs at 44 high schools in Maryland. Another 1,400 students have enrolled in Advanced Placement computer science courses offered at 95 schools.  MSDE is leading the development of a PreK-12 Computer Science Framework and Toolkit that is planned for release in June 2016.  Other efforts are under way to provide more professional learning opportunities to Advanced Placement teachers and expand computer science education across the state.