UCLA, Code.org, LAUSD, and SiliconBeachLA Kick Off “Hour of Code” in Los Angeles

By Kathy Wyer, Ampersand

Key Los Angeles stakeholders come together
in support of computer science education
to prepare students for 21st Century job market.

UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and the nonprofit Code.org collectively launched the Los Angeles segment of National Computer Science Education Week at the UCLA Community School on Dec. 10 at the Paul Schrade Library at UCLA Community School, with local and state lawmakers, and industry leaders from Microsoft, Apple, Google and other Los Angeles–based technology companies in attendance.


GSE&IS Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco watches UCLA Community Students as they learn to code.

GSE&IS Dean Marcelo Súarez-Orozco kicked off the event, with speakers Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, senior policy advisor and director of education and workforce development for the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti; California Assemblyman Ed Chau (49th Dist.), Gerardo Loera, executive director of curriculum and instruction for LAUSD; Jane Margolis, senior researcher at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies; author of “Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing,” and James Gwertzman, chief evangelist at Code.org.


Jane Margolis, Center X senior researcher, serves on the Code.org Advisory Board.


The event highlighted the week’s Hour of Code campaign, which gives K–12 students a one-hour lesson to demystify computer programming — or coding — and demonstrate that anyone can create innovative computer programs. One the largest learning events in history, the Hour of Code will involve more than 3 million students in more than 160 countries.


James Gwertzman, chief evangelist of Code.org, spoke on the importance of demystifying coding as a leg-up for students entering the job market.

The launch also spotlighted Exploring Computer Science, a program in Los Angeles schools that seeks to provide access to computer education for all students and to broaden computer science opportunities for girls, Latinos, African-Americans and other students of color. The Los Angeles City Council has officially declared the week of Dec. 9, 2013, Computer Science Week in the City of Los Angeles.

A call to action was made for expanding learning opportunities for students through the increased support of industry, government and education leaders.


For a Code.org’s video on the “Hour of Code,” click here.

For KCAL9 coverage of the event, click here.

See full article here.