K12 to STEM Career
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What is Hour of Code and how is Apple involved?

If I told you that you could sign your kid up right now for an Apple Retail class that taught your kid how to program Star Wars robots, would you believe me?  Better yet, what if I confirmed it was free!


What is Hour of Code?

Hour of Code is an annual event, sponsored by code.org, which exposes children to the power of programming and coding. It is held each year during Computer Science Education week, which this year runs from Dec 4th to Dec 10th.

How is Apple involved?

I first got introduced to Hour of Code via Apple, which has been offering these free hour-long classes for five years now. The demand for these courses is so high, that if you can enroll your child, do it now!! Why?

Kids at Apple Retail Store playing with robot

1. They get to play with the droids from Star Wars

Kids will bring Star Wars droids to life by programming simple movements, loops, and more. Then they’ll design a maze and navigate their droids through the obstacles.

Star Wars Apple Retail robots

2.  Hour of Code Lessons is free!

Apple will even lend you an iPad and the Sphero droids if you don't have your own.

World class brands participate on code.org

Apple isn't the only world-class brand that is actively supporting and promoting "Hour of Code". Minecraft, Disney, Star Wars, Flappy Bird, Marvel and Angry Birds are just a few of the distinguished partners that have lent their intellectual property and brand to excite kids to sign up.

Moana learn to code.org

Since code.org launched the "Hour of Code" challenge in Dec 2013, over 450 million students have participated in over 180 countries. In the US, 25% of students now have an account on code.org, and 10M of those students are females. Those are facts that code.org should be very proud of. They have been so successful, that today code.org announced that they'd raised $12 million in philanthropic funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Infosys Foundation USA and PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

Kid at the Apple Retail Store Hour of Code

Demand for the Apple classes are so high, that I've never been able to enroll my children, even though as an Apple employee, I find out as soon as they announce. This year the Apple Retail team has done an incredible job scaling up and increasing availability, and I'm excited to be taking my kids to their first class in one week. I'll update this post with pictures from the event, and we'll create a youtube video too.

Stop reading and sign up now!

Using code to control droids from Star Wars

Here is the video recap of Rizwan and Khadija's experience at the Apple Retail Store!

If you'd like to buy the Sphero Droids, so that you can program at home; then please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link below.  There is no charge to you, and i get a small commission which helps offset the cost of running this site.

Ok, let's keep going.

Apple's hour of code class is a great way to introduce your child to coding, but I'd encourage you to sit your child down in front of the computer, create a free account and have them try out the one-hour tutorials. Minecraft lovers can program animals and other Minecraft creatures in their own game. Star Wars fans can learn to program droids, and create their own Star Wars game in a galaxy far, far away. Or you can use code to join Anna and Elsa as they explore the magic and beauty of ice. Finally, you can program Angry Birds to catch those naughty pigs.

code.org uses excellent videos narrated by personalities such as Mark Zuckerburg to teach kids the concepts. The block/run concepts are as simple as drag and drop. Your kids will pick it up in minutes.

And its' all free! Wow.

In honor of Computer Science Education Week, Khadija has committed to 15 minutes of coding on code.org for the next 15 days. Today is day two. I'll be releasing a youtube video soon that documents the 15 days, and the progress she makes. Rizwan is doing the same challenge using tynker.com. Look for that and more as k12toSTEMCareer.com focus on computer science in December.

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Net It Out & 

Take Action!

  • Create an account on code.org and take part in the hour of code.
  • If you're fortunate enough to get a spot at Apple's Hour of Code class, congratulations!  Have fun!

About the Author Iftikhar Khan

With over 16 years of Operations Leadership at Apple, Iftikhar has had pivotal roles in launching the iPod, iPhone, iPad & Apple Watch. In late 2017, he launched k12toSTEMCareer.com with the goal of becoming a better parent to his children, Rizwan and Khadija. Today, over 1214 people follow Iftikhar's writings around STEM & Parenting. Read Iftikhar's personal story about his journey from an Introvert to a Director at Apple.

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