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It’s Hack Week in NYC, and Brooklyn Schools won’t be left out of the loop

A week dedicated to coding and debugging

December 5, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
NYC middle and high school students are designing and coding computer games this week as part of Computer Science Education Week. Brooklyn schools will play a big part in a new Hack League, thanks to Borough President Eric Adams’ Code Brooklyn initiative. Photo courtesy of the NYC Department of Education
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Pew pew pew! Students across New York City will be designing and coding computer games this week as part of the nationwide Computer Science Education Week.

To launch the event, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced a new computer game competition called the CS4All Hack League. Students from 62 middle and high schools will be designing fun games to tackle serious topics such as “connected cities” and “news literacy,” in partnership with Games for Change. Winners will advance to borough-wide and then citywide competitions later in the year.

Brooklyn schools will play a big part in the Hack League, thanks to Borough President Eric Adams’ Code Brooklyn initiative, launched in 2015. Through Code Brooklyn, the borough’s schools have been expanding computer science education by training teachers, building curriculum and infrastructure and getting support from parents.

Last month, Adams announced an investment of more than $55 million from Borough Hall to advance STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education across more than 150 schools in FY2018. The figure represents more than half of his capital budget and a doubling of his $26 million STEAM-focused educational spending from last year.

The “CS4A” in the CS4All Hack League stands for the public-private partnership Computer Science for All. By 2025, every student in the city will receive computer science education in elementary, middle and high school.

As a result of this new emphasis, the number of students taking an AP Computer Science exam in 2017 more than tripled from previous years, and the number of students passing an AP Computer Science exam increased more than fourfold, according to a release from the city. As of the first day of this school year, roughly 940 teachers received Computer Science for All training.

“As they learn computer science, our students create, collaborate, and solve problems,” Fariña said in the release. “Computer Science Education Week is a great time for students, teachers, and families to get engaged, and it’s wonderful to see initiatives like the CS4All Hack League that encourage our students to compete and excel in their academics as they would on a sports field or on a stage.”

Younger students will also be participating in Computer Science Education Week. A total of 347 schools have signed up, offering a range of activities including an “Hour of Code,” the hackathons, parent activities, guest speakers and computer science lessons.

At P.S. 241 in Brooklyn, for example, Snoopy teamed up with codeSpark Academy to debut Snoopy Snow Brawl, a learn-to-code game.

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