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Posted on Dec 17, 2018

George Elementary students show the grown-ups how to code

In front of a large crowd at George Elementary School’s shiny gym, elementary students with a computer in front of their eyes did some shining of their own.
Hour of Code, part of a nationwide activity meant to encourage and foster the computer sciences among today’s youth, found dozens upon dozens of young followers at George Elementary on Dec. 6, eager to teach their parents and some important guests what they could do on a computer.

State Sen. Judy Warnick, at left, watches Chris Cuevas, center, work through a coding problem, with his older stepbrother Ezequiel Sandoval, at right, helping out, and George Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Gaby Ramirez watching.
Photo by Sebastian Moraga/Post-Register

More than 138 people showed up to watch the children choose one of about 20 different games, and give the games’ characters instructions and commands.
The students had been working on coding for several days, enrichment teacher Mary Horning said, so this was a chance to showcase their new knowledge, and to teach Mom and Dad a little something.
“Some of them had never seen anything like it,” Horning said, later adding that students have become knowledgeable not just with coding but computers in general.
“It’s amazing how quickly they pick it up,” she said.
It was the first time George Elementary had hosted Hour of Code, and the attendance surpassed Horning’s expectations, she said.
Witnessing it all were some illustrious visitors. State Sen. Judy Warnick and state Rep. Tom Dent stood alongside Microsoft’s Lisa Karstetter and Greg Bianchi, the latter of whom told the students that they were doing a lot more than just learning coding.
“You’re learning, you’re growing, you’re solving problems, and you’re helping each other become your best selves,” Bianchi said. “You’re creative and you solve problems, and when we combine that with technology like we are doing tonight, you guys can do amazing things.”
Dent knows about technology doing amazing things, Warnick told the students.
“You can see that Rep. Dent has a new shoulder,” she said, pointing to Dent, who recently had rotator cuff surgery and whose right arm was in a sling. “A lot of that was done with computers, with technology, how they fixed his shoulder. Maybe someday one of you will be in the medical field, helping to fix other shoulders.”
Bianchi agreed, saying that technology impacts careers everywhere, not just those relating to computers.
One goal, Bianchi said, is for students to realize coding is for everyone.
“We want to make sure that everyone can experience the fun of coding but also see the promise and the opportunity to solve problems and make a difference through coding,” he said.

By Sebastian Moraga,