For a second year, several organizations are partnering on a “Week of Code” initiative in Michigan City. The effort will spotlight computer coding and related technologies that are fostering a “maker” culture of innovation in the region.
Michigan City Area Schools, in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City (EDCMC), will host the community-wide Week of Code May 4 – 11. Additional sponsors and partners include Safe Harbor, the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County, the Michigan City Mainstreet Association, the LaPorte County Public Library, the Michigan City Public Library, the Boys and Girls Club of Michigan City, Coder Dojo of LaPorte County, and the Arconic Foundation.
At the most basic level, “code” is a set of written instructions a human gives a machine, telling it what to do. Computer coding makes it possible to create software, websites, apps, and games, but almost anything that runs on electricity uses code. Coding is a skill desired across multiple job sectors, with demand for coding competency projected to rise in the coming years.
“With technology making its way into all aspects of the world of work, coding is becoming an essential skill. The Week of Code is building excitement and awareness among our current and future workforce,” said Clarence Hulse, EDCMC Executive Director.
Throughout the Week of Code, MCAS students at all schools, kindergarten through high school, will be engaged in a variety of age-appropriate coding activities. Two special events are also planned to kick off the Week of Code across the community:
- On Friday, May 4, from 5:00 – 8:00pm, Michigan City Area Schools will partner with the Michigan City Mainstreet Association to present “Shop and Learn,” the kickoff to MCMA’s First Friday Art Walk Summer Series and the Week of Code. From 11th Street to Lake Michigan, Michigan City’s Uptown Arts District shops will feature student innovators, coders, and engineers demonstrating a variety of hands-on tech activities. The State Champion Safe Harbor Robotics Team will showcase their award-winning robot, and patrons who visit all participating stores can win prizes.
- On Saturday, May 5, Michigan City High School (8466 W. Pahs Road) will host a “Maker Fest” from 8:30am – 1:30pm. This event will feature demos, seminars, and hands-on “maker” activities involving Ozobots, Raspberry Pi’s, coding, Internet safety, 3D printing, Vex and Lego Robotics, Paper Circuits, Bitsbox, Indiana Computer Science Standards, and more. The event is designed for teachers, parents, students, and community members. There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is requested at http://educateMC.net/code.
The 2018 “Week of Code” supplements coding units and activities already under way at MCAS schools and in after-school programs districtwide. “Next year, the State of Indiana will include computer science questions on the iLearn standardized test, starting at the elementary level. It’s crucial that students of all ages are exposed to concepts and technologies that will prepare them for success now and in future careers,” said MCAS Superintendent Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins.
For more information, please visit http://educateMC.net/code or contact the Michigan City Area Schools Technology Department at (219) 873-1211, ext. 8327.