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OCC robotics photo 1

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Intermediate East teacher Dillon Clark snaps a quick selfie with his robotics students, while others were happy to get on the floor and get to work during a robotics competition at Ocean County College last week.

Dec. 7, 2022- In celebration of the Hour of Code, and supported by the district’s Perkins grant funding, Ocean County College hosted a day of robotics activities for children across the community Dec. 1. Students, supported by their classroom teachers and the district leaders, participated in a fun day of challenges building robots.

Intermediate East instructor Dillon Clark brought along Lego Mindstorms and Codey Rockys for students. Teachers from High School South, North, and Intermediate North including John Ruhl, Erica Midili, Nicole Tischio, John Miller, and Megan Steinberg brought along the First Technology Challenge FTC competitive teams robots.

Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code officially kicked off Monday, Dec. 5. Teachers across the district are trying out new digital tools in their classrooms and utilizing the resources on the Hour of Code website, including a kickoff video, student-driven activities, and numerous teacher materials. Readers and non-readers alike have access to these resources, which are available in 45 languages, and which is why it’s expected that more than 1.5 billion people will participate in Hour of Code this cycle.

During the district’s Computer Science Program of Study Advisory Board meeting this week, students shared the value of participating in events like this. A student enrolled in High School South’s Introduction to Computer Science course in Python said that Hour of Code was where he first developed an interest in coding. Another student shared that he wishes he knew sooner about our program of study.

Which is why the district makes every effort to inform students at all three high schools that they can elect to participate in a computer science program of study. Students who take Introduction to Computer Science in Python, then C++, and finally AP Computer Science using Java, and who participate in the New Jersey Technology Students Association competitive events, have the opportunity to participate in work-based learning and graduate with special honors. From there, the world is at their feet in a high-skill program of study with dual-enrollment credit, available scholarships for all three courses, and a pathway to a high-paying, rewarding career field.

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