Driven to Inspire #WhatsNext

December 8th, 2015

At Nextech, we seek solutions to connect as many K-12 students to opportunities to experience coding so they will be INSPIRED to see technology in a new way, to not see it as simply an entertainment device but instead as something “cool to create” or even as a possible career.

One of the greatest tools we have at our disposal is Hour of Code, a grassroots campaign that is part of the broader Computer Science Education Week initiative. Over 145 million people worldwide have tried an hour of code since it was launched by Code.org in 2013.

Not wanting the bright young minds of our community to feel left out of this global movement, Nextech was driven to find a way to bring the Hour of Code to as many Central Indiana students as possible in one week. Our solution? Pretty simple actually.

  • Rent a bus and put some branding on the outside.
  • Partner with the biggest education partner in your community – Indianapolis Public Schools – and a host of after-school programs to schedule some events.
  • Load up LightBot on the iPads generously donated to us by Eli Lilly & Co..

After wrapping up our CS Ed Week kick-off event at the State House yesterday, Nextech hit the road and took our makeshift mobile coding bus to our first official stop at Floro Torrence (School 83). Over 70 kids spent nearly an hour navigating a robot around a puzzle with the goal of lighting up the blue tiles in a puzzle. Don’t be fooled. Although this may sound like a basic video game, students were learning the basics of computer science, as they had to create sequenced set of instructions to make sure the robot achieved its goal.

This was the first of many stops for the week. Thanks to lots of coordination and even more enthusiasm from the hardworking Nextech team, the mobile coding bus will visit 14 different locations and conduct an Hour of Code for 24 different groups of students. Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@nexech) to keep track of our journey and hear some amazing stories about the enthusiasm and excitement kids can experience from just one hour of coding!

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