Elementary students building and working with VEX Robots.

WDMCS Celebrates Computer Science Education Week

Western Hills Elementary students Kate Songer, Adout Deng, and Jenna Henry discuss the directions during the Hour of Code in Kevin Graham's fifth-grade class.

Western Hills Elementary students Kate Songer, Adout Deng, and Jenna Henry discuss the directions during an Hour of Code session in Kevin Graham’s fifth-grade class.

When students see what they can create with computer science, they are excited and empowered to keep going. Join the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) as we inspire our students with Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 5-11!

There are opportunities for students of all ages to explore computer science throughout the week. Read about some of the activities below, and contact your child’s teacher to find out if their class will be participating.


Learn Computer Science at School

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Western Hills fifth-graders Trey Weite and Ramez Naba share earbuds while learning to code.

Elementary students across the district will be completing Hour of Code activities. The Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, “a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to computer science….” Students will complete tutorials and continue expanding their knowledge of computer science. Find out more at code.org, and by following #HourofCode on social media.

Several courses at Valley High School offer secondary students an opportunity to investigate computer science. The classes are open to all students who want to develop computer and problem-solving skills that will help them become more college- and career-ready.

These college preparation-oriented classes cover programming and web page design, with an Advanced Placement offering for juniors and seniors. Starting in 2017-18, Valley High School will also offer the Project Lead the Way class Computer Science Principles, which “helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet.”

Explore Computer Science at Home

Jordan Creek Elementary students work with robotics.

Jordan Creek Elementary students work with robotics.

We invite family members to help students continue learning at home! Visit code.org/learn to get started. The tutorials are designed for all ages, from “pre-readers” to ninth grade and older.

Family members can assist younger children by helping them select a tutorial. The tutorials are family-friendly and entertaining, featuring characters from Disney’s “Moana,” “Star Wars,” “Minecraft,” and more. Any device with internet access can be used to complete the tutorials, which are available for all ages and in over 40 languages.

Use Computer Science in the Future

Computing jobs are the No. 1 source of new wages in the U.S. These jobs are in every field and all over the country. No matter what each student wants to pursue, understanding how technology works will be an important factor in their ability to succeed.

Computer Science Education Week and other computer programming activities in the district are part of our ongoing efforts to provide STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) opportunities that help prepare our students for successful futures. Join us as we celebrate computer science and STEM this week and throughout the rest of the year!