The Hour Of Code event was held on December 5 and 6, 2018. One of the organizers, Fayo Ojo, described it as a focus on “computer science outreach within the UMBC community.” Around twenty students took advantage of the programming sessions; many others looked at the demonstrations.

An Arduino workshop was ran by IEEE volunteers on Wednesday, teaching some basic electrical engineering skills. Using a breadboard, LED light, an Arduino, resistors, and C programming code, students could make the LED blink. A short video is posted demonstrating the action.

Students in the UMBC IEEE chapter teaching concepts.

Makey Makey kits were available for students to try out throughout the three hour event on the first day. A fun demonstration was a piano made out of real bananas–students played music.

Mary Had A Little Lamb

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

General musical expression.

On Thursday, students from Lakeland Elementary School were invited to visit the UMBC campus and learn about programming. These third and fourth graders were an underrepresented group in computer science. They participated in a new activity called “Minecraft Voyage Aquatic”. This encouraged students to think through a problem to be able to solve it and get to the next level. It also taught basic programming concepts like “for” loops and understand the concept of infinite loops.

Volunteers helping Lakeland Elementary School students:

These same elementary school students used Makey Makeys and really enjoyed them. After using the banana piano and learning how it worked, one of the students said, “I want to go here when I’m far, far older!”

During their campus tour, the Lakeland students learned about the CSEE programs from Dr. Jeremy Dixon and Dr. Chuck LaBerge.

Look for the next Hour of Code event in December 2019.

Fun Fact: Computer Science Education Week is always around December 9th to celebrate Admiral Grace Hopper’s birthday.