UCLA, LAUSD Help Kick Off National Computer Science Education Week

By Stephanie Simmons, KCal9 News (CA)

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council has officially declared this week Computer Science Education Week.

The University of California Los Angeles, the mayor’s office, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nonprofit Code.org and several other groups kicked off the week Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at the UCLA Community School.

The event highlighted the “Hour of Code” campaign, which gives K-12 students a one-hour lesson to demystify computer programming – or coding – and demonstrate how anyone can create innovative computer programs.

Reportedly, only 10 percent of schools nationwide offer computer science programs.

“Us four here are the only 9th graders in Computer Science at UCLA Community School,” student Jenny Martinez said. “But we want to extend that program.”

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

“There are fewer schools teaching Computer Science today than ten years ago, despite the fact that computers are becoming a more and more important part of our economy,” Code.org’s James Gwertzman said. “Every career, every industry nowadays, needs computer science.”

The Exploring Computer Science program was also launched in Los Angeles schools, seeking to provide access and broaden computer education opportunities for all students — particularly girls, Latinos, African Americans and others.

See full article here with video coverage.

See more complete UCLA Ampersand coverage here.