Press Release: First Maryland Hour Of Code Contest Begins
All Public Schools Encouraged to Provide Every Student with Computer Coding Experience
For Immediate Release Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486, 410-241-7108 (cell)
Baltimore, MD (November 18, 2014)
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) launched the first “Maryland Hour of Code” contest today to award a $10,000 technology donation to a public school that ensures every student has at least one-hour of computer coding experience during Computer Science Education Month (December 8-14).
"The Maryland Hour of Code is a contest and a partnership among business and government to stimulate students' interest in computer science, cyber security and other fields where the need for a highly-skilled workforce is growing," said Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. "There is no better investment in our state's future than providing young people with the education and skills that will give them more opportunities to become successful adults. I plan on coding with my children, and I hope all students, educators and families will join us in this worthwhile activity."
National nonprofit Code.org offers its annual Hour of Code contest and awards $10,000 in classroom technology to one school in each state. Last year, Middle River Middle School in Baltimore County was one of 50 schools nationwide to win technology for its classrooms. More importantly, students had the chance to learn computer programming.
The Maryland Hour of Code will provide a second public school with technology for computing, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Northrop Grumman Corporation and in coordination with the BWI Business Partnership. Public school teachers are invited to describe their plan for computer coding activities and how every student in their school will participate in at least one hour of computer coding next month. Code.org provides a “How-to Guide for Teachers” and other resources. The $10,000 prize is in the form of DonorsChoose.org funding credits. For information on the national nonprofit DonorsChoose, log-on to www.donorschoose.org/about. To apply for the Maryland Hour of Code contest, log-on to the online application. The deadline for submitting contest entries is 11:59 p.m. on November 30, 2014.
“Maryland students need in-demand skills to compete for career opportunities in our state’s high-tech economy, where computer science, cyber security and related science, math and engineering (STEM) jobs are so important,” said Maryland State Superintendent Lillian M. Lowery. “I will participate in an hour of coding. I challenge all of Maryland’s public schools to plan to provide every student with a computer coding experience and to integrate computing into coursework to teach math and science in new and exciting ways.”
Earlier this month, Dr. Lowery challenged every Maryland public school student, educator and their families to participate in the national Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week next month. On November 3, MSDE hosted a statewide discussion about the need to scale computer science education statewide and ensure every student has access to computing programs and instruction.
According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, computer-related occupations are projected to grow nearly 10 percent over a 10-year span. Specific occupations within this area, such as software developers, have high projected future openings and have estimated median wages more than double the median for all occupations. This indicates that careers using computer skills are in-demand, high-paying and present great opportunities for Maryland’s current and future workforce.
Currently, 4,000 of Maryland’s 870,000 public school students are enrolled in computer science and programming-related courses in career and technical education programs at 39 high schools in Maryland. Another 1,200 students have enrolled in Advanced Placement computer science courses offered at 117 schools. Maryland had the most African American or Black students take the AP Computer Science exam and was eighth among states with the most Hispanic students who took the exam in 2013.