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Museum of Science Celebrates Computer Science Education

January 21, 2015

As of January 20, 2015, 95,188,265 students worldwide had written 4,744,825,520 lines of computer code.

In December 2013, Computer Science Education Week launched its first "Hour of Code" to demonstrate that anyone can create computer code. This year, Barack Obama became the first US President to program a computer, writing a few lines of JavaScript. Computer Science Education Week celebrates the birthday of computer pioneer Admiral Grace Hopper, who popularized the term "debugging" when her team removed a real moth from their system in 1947.

During Computer Science Education Weekend in December 2014, hundreds of Museum of Science visitors discovered how important and fun computer science could be, generating an impressive 3,600 interactions involving an array of activities. (See photo right.)

Says Museum educator Lydia Beall, "Our goal was to inspire a future generation of software engineers." For her, computer science education is critical. "Computers are behind everything. Computing jobs are among the highest paying for new graduates. But fewer than 3% of them graduate with a computer science degree, and nine out of ten K-12 schools don't offer computer programming," she says.

At the Museum, Microsoft software engineers offered code games where visitors learned programming basics. Visitors could also pilot a robot on a simulated Mars surface to retrieve data from a stranded rover, program their way through an orchard to pick fruit, create a game controller or make a sculpture that might light up, buzz, or move.

According to Beall, the Museum's new Tech Studio program offers hands-on experiences in computing and engineering around the year.

The Museum supports Code.org and Computing in the Core, as they seek to elevate the profile of K-12 computer science education and make computer science a core academic subject. The weekend was sponsored by Museum Premier Partner Microsoft and supported by Neurala and Mass Technology Leadership Council.

Related Links

The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500   information@mos.org