Chesterfield County Public Schools participating in Hour of Code as part of first-ever Innovation Days

Chesterfield County Public Schools is promoting creativity, technology awareness and career-readiness skills through its first-ever Innovation Day focused on the Hour of Code. Schools across the county have planned computer science-related learning opportunities for students throughout the week.

“Our classrooms are designed to by fun, engaging learning environments. Innovation Days like the Hour of Code engage students in relevant, hands-on learning opportunities that help them see how to solve real-world problems,” said Chesterfield County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. James Lane. “Tomorrow’s inventors, scientists and leaders are sitting in today’s classrooms, and we must prepare them for success in a constantly changing world that revolves around critical thinking, technology and creativity.”

The school division’s Innovation Days are designed to reinforce the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and effective communication while enhancing student engagement through relevant, hands-on learning opportunities. School leaders and teachers have been encouraged to integrate 21st century technology teaching-and-learning tools, create project-based learning opportunities, and infuse community service projects in the Innovation Days. Teachers will submit lesson plans and projects for recognition. Award-winning plans will be highlighted across the district.

This week’s Hour of Code movement is a global movement reaching more than 100 million students in more than 180 countries. In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, the Hour of Code will take place across all Chesterfield County Public Schools from Dec. 5-11.

An emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning has been at the forefront in Chesterfield County Public Schools throughout the last several years as a part of the school division’s strategic innovation plan. School leaders understand the importance of these disciplines and continue to look for new and innovative ways to get students excited and learning.  There is a significant workforce gap in the computer science and technology field with nearly 36,000 unfilled computer-science related positions in Virginia, and throughout the U.S., there are more than 500,000 open computing jobs. Computer science graduates have the second-highest starting salary and the highest full-time employment rates within six month of graduation. Programs like this are providing students the exposure to this field and sparking an interest in technology and computer science.

Below are some of the ways Chesterfield County schools are participating in the Hour of Code:

  • Bellwood Elementary will be inviting local coders into their classrooms to discuss career pathways and the utilization of technology.
  • Clover Hill Elementary students will work throughout the week to code a small robot using color patterns.
  • Crestwood Elementary students will be coding with the Angry Birds mobile game.
  • Salem Church Elementary students will be coding during their library resource throughout the week.
  • Matoaca Middle has assigned each content area different day to show how coding affects all curriculum areas.
  • Providence Middle has been participating in the Capital One Coders Club, which is an afterschool coding program to help students develop mobile apps.
  • Carver College and Career Academy will send students to Ecoff Elementary to work with fifth-grade students on Dec. 7 to assist with code-related projects.
  • Midlothian High will hold a Drop Everything and Code Day on Dec. 9.
  • The Juvenile Detention Center will use Scratch to animate their name during finance, marketing and math classes on Dec. 6.

Throughout the school year, Chesterfield County Public Schools will hold three additional Innovation Days to celebrate Digital Learning Day, Earth Day and Bright Idea Day.