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DU Joins Global Movement to Help Kids

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Jon Stone

Media Relations Manager

Jon Stone

Justin Beach

Computer science department hosts Hour of Code event


“I think it’s really cool that we have the opportunity to do this,” says Dean Trujillo, a fifth-grader from Southmoor Elementary School in Denver. He and 39 classmates had the opportunity to visit the University of Denver last week to take part in the Hour of Code.

The global event—which takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week— is designed to reach millions of kids, showing them what it takes to create the programs and apps they use every day and teaching them that computer science is fun and creative.

“Having this opportunity for the kids to get outside the school and try something out and have the interest in computer science is fantastic,” says Jonathan Miller, an enrichment coordinator and teacher at Southmoor Elementary.

The opportunity to come to DU made the experience even more enjoyable for the kids. They were able to use the computer labs in the new engineering and computer science building and learn from students at the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science. This collaboration on a global event with the Denver community embodies the aspirations outlined in the University’s new strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025.

“The level these kids are at is really cool to see,” says Isaiah Thompson, a fourth-year computer science major at DU. “It’s cool that we are able to give back to the people who are younger than us and who might go to college and study computer science themselves.”

The Hour of Code reaches tens of millions of students around the world. The 40 kids who came to DU had the opportunity to play Minecraft, which introduces basic coding skills in a 2-D world.

“This is the age where they are really starting to build the interests that they really stick with,” Miller says. “Getting them interested in computer science, this is the way the future is going to go, so getting them interested at this age is crucial.”