Monday, December 7, 2015

This week, thousands of students at more than 330 Nova Scotia schools will participate in the largest global learning event, the Hour of Code.

As part of Computer Science Education Week, which runs today, Dec. 7 to Sunday, Dec. 13, the Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to the basics of coding, technology and design.

“The province has identified coding as a priority for classrooms and student success, as it involves problem-solving, logic and creativity – key skills needed in today’s job market,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. “The Hour of Code is a fun, interactive way to introduce computer science to students.”

In October, Ms. Casey issued a challenge to students attending the Big Data Congress education day to increase participation in the Hour of Code from 60,000 students last year to 100,000 students this year.

Students ranging from grades Primary to 12 are participating in Hour of Code. Some are using computers or other devices, while others are participating in unplugged sessions. Activities vary from tutorials featuring Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Minecraft, or Star Wars to working with programming languages like JavaScript or Scratch.

At Memorial Composite High School in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, junior and senior high school students are participating in a Digital Skills Quest, a day-long career exploration delivered by Skills Canada-Nova Scotia that promotes technology use and innovation through educational, fun and interactive workshops.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our students to discover the many applications for coding in our world,” said Ken Collier, department head for Vocational/Technical Training, Memorial Composite High School. “It is sure to spark some ideas for students as they consider potential career and training options.”

The Hour of Code is organized by the nonprofit organization and supported by a coalition of other partners including Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the College Board.

Increasing math and literacy skills at all grades, including coding, is part of government’s action plan for education that focuses on fundamental changes to renew, refocus and rebuild the education system for the first time in a generation. The action plan can be found at

To find out more about how Nova Scotia students are learning about coding from this award-winning video,

For more information, resources, interactive tutorials, or to participate in the Hour of Code, visit