UCS Marks Computer Science Week
UCS Celebrates Computer Science Week
Posted on 12/03/2017
Students looking at compute

Schools across the nation are recognizing Computer Science Education Week December 4 through 8. Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

Below are several unique experiences offered to Utica Community Schools students to promote Computer Science:

  • 360° Filmmakers Challenge with Digital Promise
    • Utica Community Schools is among only five communities taking part in a grant-funded partnership with Digital Promise that uses virtual reality and 360° video to create important community messages. Through the partnership, UCS received 360° video production equipment and ongoing support, including from professional filmmaker mentors. UCS is an active partner with the congressionally authorized, bipartisan Digital Promise initiative, serving as a charter member of the organization’s League of Innovative Schools. The League is a group of nearly 100 educational leaders from across the country supporting the effective use of technology in classrooms.
  • Girls Who Code
    • UCS schools throughout the district are establishing Girls Who Code clubs. The free after school club continues the district’s work to address a gender gap in technology programs. The club promotes computer science and its global impact.
  • Center of Excellence for Virtual Reality
    • UCS was named the Midwest’s only Center of Excellence for its innovation and leadership in providing students with lifelike learning experiences through the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in classrooms by zSpace, Inc., a Silicon Valley education company.

      The district has virtual reality technology in four elementary schools, sharing with school leaders nationwide its first-hand experiences and best practices for incorporating AR/VR activities into teaching and learning.  The district’s focus is to prepare students for the careers of tomorrow where virtual engineering and 3D environments will be a part of their everyday lives. 

  • Expanding Opportunities through Code.org Partnership           
    • UCS was the first Michigan school district to partner with Code.org to integrate coding lessons in elementary media programs and expand programs for secondary students. This school year, the district introduced a course at three junior high schools that allows students to explore introductory concepts of coding and computer science called Computer Science Discoveries. Over the past year, the national non-profit organization has been working with elementary media center teachers to integrate coding lessons into UCS curriculum. Elementary lessons begin as early as kindergarten and include lessons such as algorithms, digital footprints, vocabulary strategies and problem solving. Secondary teachers have been trained on integrating coding concepts into Algebra 1 courses taken by every UCS student. The district has also expanded an Advanced Placement Computer Science Course to include both Eisenhower and Utica high school students.
  • Hour of Code
    • Media Centers throughout the district will take part in the International Hour of Code - a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. The Hour of Code is a one-hour set of computer science activities designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn the basics.