How your company can engage with the Hour of Code

Find out how you and your employees can inspire students to try computer science!


Computational thinking helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity. And technology is transforming every industry on the planet. Students today should learn how to create technology, not just use it. By starting early, they’ll have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.

During the Hour of Code campaign, your company can help raise awareness of the computer science movement. Whether you volunteer as an individual or plan an event for your company, all of your efforts can make a huge impact on the way young women and students from marginalized racial and ethnic groups view computer science and their own potential.


Encourage employees to volunteer with a classroom

One of the most fulfilling ways to participate in the Hour of Code is to volunteer with a local classroom, either in-person or virtually. Best of all, you don’t have to be an engineer in order to volunteer. You can still provide a meaningful experience to students by sharing your own career experience and how CS or technology have impacted your role.

Once a volunteer registers, a teacher can review their profile on our volunteer map - so profiles should be submitted as complete as possible. If you’re a good fit for their classroom, a teacher will contact you through the platform (we will never share your email address with the teacher). You can then coordinate details directly with the teacher around how to best volunteer with their classroom.

For more guidance on volunteering and sample messaging to get your company excited about the Hour of Code, check out our guide for corporate partners.


Connect your company with a school

You don’t have to use our volunteer map in order to connect with a classroom or school. Oftentimes, we recommend starting locally. Consider if there are schools that you or your employees have a strong connection to such as an alma mater, a child’s school, or an organization or school that is focused on serving a population that has been historically underrepresented in computer science.

From there, you can visit the school’s website to find appropriate contacts to reach out to such as administrators like a Principal or Vice Principal, technology or computer science instructors, or even the school’s PTSA. You could also partner with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a YMCA branch, and more to co-host an event.

If you are unable to connect with a school, please contact us and we’ll connect you with one of our local partners if possible.


"SVIDJELO mi se vidjeti koliko su djeca bila uzbuđena. One amazing thing was the teachers noticed some of the students who didn’t do as well academically were excelling at thinking like a developer and helping others - giving them a place to feel confident.”

-Hour of Code volunteer


Host your own Hour of Code event

If you want to go the extra mile, your company can also host an Hour of Code event. There is no specific formula for hosting an event so we encourage you to be creative! Given that our staff size is small (but mighty!), Code.org does not have a team dedicated to coordinating Hour of Code events. However, here are some tips to get started.

1. Watch this how-to video

2. Determine a date, format, and location for your event

We’ve seen events that are virtual or in-person, at the company office or held in the community, and for students of all ages! You can also take a look at what other corporate partners and donors have done in the past for some inspiring ideas.


Sample Agenda:

|Time | Agenda Item | |------------------------------------------------- | ----------------- | |1-5 minutes | Show an inspirational video|
|5-10 minutes | Introduce yourself and learn more about the students: Where do you work, what do you do, and what do you love most about your job? Što ili tko vas je inspirirao? Kako ste postali zainteresirani za informatiku? Jeste li imali mentora? Postavite pitanja učenicima i ostavite vremena za Q & A. |
|30-60 minutes | Code! If your event is in-person, this is the time to answer questions and guide students through tough puzzles. Try not to give them the solution outright, instead, try asking them questions so they can answer themselves what went wrong, and encourage students to ask each other if they have questions. If you are volunteering virtually, work with the teacher on what the best approach might be. It may make more sense to return at the end of the session to see what progress students have made. | | |1-3 minutes | Thank everyone and share inspirational parting words. Hand out any of your company swag (stickers are awesome)! | |

Other ideas to add to your event

  • Explain ways technology impacts our lives, with examples that students of all backgrounds will care about - talk about technology that’s saving lives, helping people, connecting people.
  • If you are a tech company, demo fun, innovative products your company is working on. If you aren’t a tech company, discuss ways your company uses technology to solve problems and accomplish goals.
  • Invite software engineers from your company to speak about why they decided to study computer science and the projects they work on.
  • If you have a group of staff that will be facilitating your event or volunteering with a local school, consider ordering custom t-shirts for your employees.

3. Plan your technology needs

Devices:

The best Hour of Code experience includes Internet-connected computers. But you don’t need a computer for every child, and you can even do the Hour of Code without a computer at all! For unplugged activities, simply filter the Classroom Technology section to show options for “No computers or devices”.

  • Test activities on computers or devices. Make sure they work properly on browsers with sound and video.
  • Don't have enough devices? Use pair programming. Kada učenici rade sa suradnikom, oni pomažu jedan drugome i manje se oslanjaju na učitelja. Tako će uvidjeti da je informatika druževna i dobra za suradnju.
  • Provide headphones for your participants or ask them to bring their own if they’ll be trying tutorials that work best with sounds.
  • Have low bandwidth? Plan to show videos at the front of the event, so each participant isn't downloading their own videos. Or try the unplugged / offline activities.

Virtual Events:

If your event is going to be virtual, you’ll want to decide on your conference platform (and test it) prior to your event. This may impact the number of students you feel comfortable engaging, so it’s best to determine this prior to inviting a classroom or promoting your event. For ideas on how to run a remote Hour of Code, read our tips for a virtual Hour of Code event.

4. Choose an activity

We provide a variety of fun, student-guided tutorials for all age groups and experience levels. It’s popular for students to try self-led tutorials, though you may want to begin the event with an inspirational video for everyone to view together.

Explore the activities and decide ahead of time if you want to choose a single tutorial for all of your guests, or let each child pick their own. All Hour of Code activities require minimal prep-time, and are self-guided - allowing participants to work at their own pace and skill-level.

Once you have a solid roadmap for your event, you can then start inviting students, a school, or the larger community. We recommend starting with a local school you have a relationship with or browsing our map of Hour of Code events.

5. Celebrate

After students or guests have completed their Hour of Code, it’s time to celebrate their success. Here are some ideas for making your event even more fun:


Promote the Hour of Code

One of the best ways to help is to spread the word and promote the Hour of Code.

1. Register Your Event

When you sign-up your Hour of Code event, you’ll receive helpful email communications with news and tips for hosting a successful Hour of Code. It’s also how you can let local schools or parents know that you’re hosting an event near them.

2. Post on Social Media

Help raise awareness of the computer science movement with this sample content to post on social media and share with your employees.

Hour of Code general announcement

  • Computer science is changing our world. Help students be part of this change starting with one #HourOfCode. https://hourofcode.com/
  • Don’t just use technology—learn how to build it. Help someone start with an #HourOfCode. https://hourofcode.com/

Stats

  • Did you know only 45% of U.S. schools teach computer science? Give every student the chance to learn one #HourOfCode https://hourofcode.com/
  • In the U.S., only 26% of software professionals are women. Introduce more young women to computer science with #HourOfCode https://hourofcode.com/
  • 67% of computing jobs in the U.S. are not in the tech sector. Help put computer science in the standard curriculum with #HourOfCode https://hourofcode.com/

Create your own

Engineer-specific

  • If your very first line of code changed your life, help students near you write their first #HourOfCode https://code.org/volunteer
  • If you learned to code—what’s your story? Inspire a student near you through their first #HourOfCode https://code.org/volunteer

Learn more about posters, videos, stickers and other ways to promote your event to your community.


More ways to support the Hour of Code

  • Spread awareness by wearing Code.org swag (all proceeds go to supporting more students gain access to computer science education).
  • Choose to benefit Code.org when you shop on AmazonSmile.
  • Ask your CEO to send a company-wide email emphasizing the importance of computer science and encouraging employees to spread the word.
  • Have some fun with co-workers in a giving campaign.
  • Sign this petition to make sure that every student has the opportunity to learn computer science.
  • Donate to Code.org so that we can keep our educational resources free and accessible to all.

For more suggestions on how to support Code.org and the Hour of Code, visit Code.org/Help