This week we are supporting Hour of Code, a global movement in over 180 countries that aims to introduce tens of millions of students worldwide to computer science, inspiring them to learn. The initiative has been created by non-profit Code.org and takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week.
As part of Amazon Future Engineer, our childhood-to-career programme that inspires children to try computer science in partnership with Code.org, we have helped create Hour of Code: Dance Party. This free online tutorial enables students to code characters to dance to songs from leading artists in a fun and accessible way.
Katy Perry, Calvin Harris, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande are among dozens of singers and songwriters who have contributed tracks so children aged four and upwards can learn to code dance routines to songs like Firework, I Like To Move It and U Can’t Touch This. By following ten fun and easy steps it’s possible to command robots, unicorns, cats and many other animated creatures to floss, dab, gangnam and follow interactive dance moves.
Hour of Code offers hundreds of one-hour activities in over 45 languages. Activities require no experience and can be run on browsers, tablets, and smartphones. The Hour of Code website also features many other hour-long coding tutorials on topics including Minecraft, Star Wars and Angry Birds.
An hour of learning makes a difference
Just 60 minutes of learning through Hour of Code is proven to have a positive impact on students, with a significant increase in the number who say they like computer science and perform better in computer science tasks afterwards.
Hour of Code tutorials have already seen millions of children and young people taking part globally. Through Hour of Code: Dance Party we are aiming to reach hundreds of thousands of students in the UK.
How to get involved
It’s easy to get started. By visiting code.org/dance, anyone can try coding and everyone who completes the program will get an online certificate, as well as their very own mini dance video to download and share. You don’t even need a computer to take part, there is an ‘unplugged’ (offline) version of Dance Party.
Education for All
Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career programme to make sure more students – especially those from lower-income communities – have access to computer science education so that someday they might choose to pursue a career in this exciting and rewarding field. By making coding instantly accessible, we hope that students from all backgrounds will take part, learning new digital skills that can open up tomorrow’s career opportunities to everyone.
As well as trying it out at home, we’re asking schools and computer science education groups to join this worldwide movement. We are encouraging people to have a go during Computer Science Education Week, however the resources are available all year long so you can continue to learn and have fun.