Students join global movement and host Hour of Code

December 14, 2017
Hour of Code
Hour of Code

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering took part in a global movement on Saturday, Dec. 9, hosting – for the first time – an Hour of Code event. Nearly 40 area students in third through 12th grade came to campus to participate in the event.

Created by the nonprofit, Hour of Code introduces students to computer science and computer programming through tutorials and online activities. Thousands of Hour of Code events are held worldwide each year during Computer Science Education Week, which took place Dec. 4-10.

“The event was started to get kids to take an hour out of their day and try to do coding to help with computational thinking skills,” said Donna Gavin, senior lecturer in UW-Platteville’s computer science and software engineering program and organizer of the event on campus. “We want to get them thinking computationally, and start them at a younger age. They were all very excited.”

Gavin said coordinating the event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the following UW-Platteville student organizations: the Association of Computing Machinery, the Game Development Club and the Women in CSSE group. Students in these organizations assisted in soliciting contributions from businesses, giving presentations at local schools to publicize the event, reviewing and rating the coding activities in advance, and providing guidance to participants at the event.

“It really helped engage our students and helped them become ambassadors,” said Gavin. “They really took the lead, and took ownership of the event.”

Gavin also coordinates a Girls Who Code Club for students in grades six through 12. The Girls Who Code Club will start on Tuesday, Feb. 6, and will run from 4-6 p.m. at the Platteville Public Library. The students work in teams to design and build a computer science impact project that solves real-world problems through code. Gavin plans to continue the collaboration between UW-Platteville computer science and software engineering students, the Women in Engineering, Mathematics and Science program, and the middle school and high school students through mentorship roles in this club. To find out more about the Girls Who Code club, visit /ems/girls-who-code, or contact Gavin at, 608-342-1966.

Sponsors of the Hour of Code event included Esterline AVISTA, Dunkin’ Donuts and Milio’s, as well as Information Technology Services and UW-Platteville’s Women in EMS program, who helped provide assistance with registration.

To learn more about the Hour of Code, visit

Written by: Alison Parkins, Associate Director of Public Relations, Communications, 608-342-1194,


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