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Creating with technology emphasized with Hour of Code

Teachers and students throughout Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 are taking extra time the week of Dec. 8-12 to focus on creating computer code as part of a global movement that will involve millions of students in more than 180 countries.

Hafiza Nure, a second grader in Lisa Christen's class at M.W. Savage Elementary, crosses her fingers as she prepares to run the program she wrote.

Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science as part of Computer Science Education Week Dec. 8-14. With online support or just with their own knowledge and resources, teachers will spend at least an hour during the week with students working through a tutorial on using computer code to create programs including drawings, animations, games and much more.

According to organizers, the goals of the event include demystifying code to show that anybody can learn the basics, engage students in creative technology, and increase participation in computer science at schools and among under-represented populations.

“The Hour of Code is a chance to engage every student, teacher, and family member to open their mind to coding and show them what computer science is all about,” said Cindy Drahos, business education teacher. “Even the basics of coding help nurture creativity and problem-solving skills, and prepare students for any future career.”

“The latest stats show the there are 39 schools in Minnesota that teach computer science and Burnsville High School is one of them,” she said, adding that there will be more future job openings in the field than there will be qualified people to fill them.

In District 191, just some of the projects planned for Hour of Code include:

At Hidden Valley Elementary, fifth grade students will hear from a panel of computer science professionals about their careers, the careers that will be available to students, and some of the interesting ways technology is changing the world. Later in the day, students will be working on writing their own code.

At William Byrne Elementary, students in Rick Geddes’ sixth grade class will work through tutorials on and

At Sioux Trail Elementary, second graders in Sharron Stalock’s classroom will be watching an informational video and then working through a tutorial at

At Burnsville High School, Cindy Drahos will be teaching code in her business education classes all day on Thursday. Then after school, staff members from around the district will join with high school students for coding.

For more information about Hour of Code, go to