When students are allowed to explore, it can lead to endless possibilities. Hour of Tech emphasizes the “T” in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). It provides an immersive experience for students to exercise their knowledge, learn, grow and be inspired.
Hour of Tech expands upon the national Hour of Code movement. The program aims to connect students with tech professionals, who serve as volunteers. Let’s not fail to mention the non-technical professionals who play a pivotal role in this initiative, too.
In its fifth year, the Hour of Tech movement has grown stronger in our region through the village approach featuring a variety of events throughout Computer Science Education Week Dec. 5-11.
A few events that took place, included:
- MSOE Girls + AI
Led by MSOE, a makeup of interactive activities focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and art. Students explored coding, creativity by programming robotic hands and cars and explored how AI art is taking shape in the digital world. Also, students were able to hear from tech professionals from Northwestern Mutual, spanning data analytics, project management and content creation.
- Design Thinking at Marshall High School
High schoolers were introduced to design thinking and how it applies to technology with hands on activities developing journey maps and personas.
- MKE Latinas in Tech at Notre Dame Middle School
A panel discussion on education-career opportunities in tech and a dance exercise formed through code.org, featuring Sandi Esquivel, Julea Ferrera, Veronica Davalos, Ariana Jimenez and Blanca Gonzalez
- Milwaukee Bucks e-sports at St. Joan Antida
The Bucks introduced the world of esports to a group of high school girls showing the various careers available and the business side of technology through e-gaming. Each girl had an opportunity to design their own e-sport logo for the school.
- Milwaukee Public Schools
Approximately 286 teachers participated in the MPS Day of Code, exposing over 7,900 students to technology instruction and inspiration.
- Woodlands School
New to Hour of Tech this year, Woodlands scheduled tech-related activities across all grades (K4-8) over two days at each school campus.
Kenge Adams founder and CEO of Connect Business Consulting and Hour of Tech Program Manager, lends her thoughts on this year’s program.
“The excitement and enthusiasm from the students, teachers, and volunteers were overwhelming,” Adams said. “I loved how students were able to learn about various tech career pathways, including coding, design thinking, esports, and fashion design. I truly value the teachers, volunteers, and corporate partnerships who helped teach and mentor our next generation of tech innovators.”
When it comes to Hour of Tech, it’s about more than coding. It’s about the power of mentorship and community, forming the variety of programming throughout the week that reflects the vast tech industry.
By prioritizing accessibility, it allows us to meet students where they are, creating an entryway into the tech space through education. In turn, this can lead to inspiring the next generation of tech innovators.
As you may have already grasp, Hour of Tech is made possible through partnerships and volunteerism. Jasmin Treske MKE Tech Hub Coalitions Manager of Tech Programs & Community Outreach, extends her gratitude to the MKE Tech community.
“I want to give a special thanks to this year’s volunteers and school districts for making a difference in the community,” Treske said. “Hour of Tech provides students with an opportunity to be what they can’t see. Tech skills and tech careers create enduring regional prosperity and life changing jobs. Children in our community only benefit from early exposure as tech continues to be on the rise in the workforce.”
*CUE DRUM ROLL*
With great enthusiasm, this year’s program concludes logging more than 30K hours in tech-related mentorship, an achievement that speaks to the power of the MKE Tech community!