Patrick Robinson
Former Seattle Seahawk and current Denver Bronco's football player Russell Okung paid a visit to Highline High School on Nov. 18 to highlight Code.org and it's effort to demystify computer programming through what they call the Hour of Code.

Hour Of Code brings former Seahawk Okung to Highline High School

Goal is to demystify computer programming

By Patrick Robinson

Computer programming, just those two words can make many people's eyes glaze over since the automatic assumption is that it's an activity that is too difficult for the average person.
Not only is that not true but as the founder of Code.org, Hadi Partovi said "People think computer programming is such a complex process or like learning to speak French but really there are only about fifty words in most of these languages that you have to learn to code. Then it's just a matter of learning sequences and how they work."

To bring more attention to computer programming Partovi and Code.org brought former Seattle Seahawk and current Denver Broncos football star Rusell Okung to Highline High School to take part in an "Hour of Code" a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries.

Okung is a passionate advocate for education and the equal opportunity it can provide, sat down with students learn to code with them, and then spoke at a school-wide assembly. Using a sports-themed coding tutorial developed by Code.org, Okung worked on creating his own football app with students during the event.

Okung said he has done some coding himself in the past. "I learned HTML when I was about 13 and I've done a little work using Java," a computer programming language. Microsoft, Google and Apple among others all support Code.org which in only 3 years has grown to have programs in 400,000 classrooms worldwide. It has been used by one out of ten students worldwide.

Partovi explained, "The goal of Hour of Code isn't learn how to be a software engineer or expert. It's to realize that you can do this, that your classroom can do this, that 8 year olds can do this. To demystify what coding is about and that even after one hour I can make something on a computer that I didn't realize was within my powers. You don't need to tell people that there's money in technology or that it's changing the world. Everybody sees that. Nobody realizes that they can do it. My goal is for every school to teach computer science, which I know is not an easy goal, but we've already in the last three years had change at a pace that we've never seen before.”

This event was aimed at supporting the partnership between Highline Public Schools and Code.org to bring computer science to every school in the district.

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