Microsoft partners with HISD on Coding Bash at HMW

Hundreds of HISD employees participated in a Coding Bash and Technology Showcase at Hattie Mae White Education Support Center on Friday, Dec. 8, in support of Computer Science Education Week.

Microsoft and HISD’s Advanced Academics Department partnered on the event, which demonstrated the importance of coding as a way to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The district is leading by example to show students, teachers, and staff members that coding impacts everyone.

Microsoft Account Executive Jon Drew and Microsoft Ed Tech Specialist Chris Akin spoke to the crowd during the event.

“HISD and Microsoft have had a special relationship for a number of years,” said Drew. “We have computer science professionals in your classrooms working alongside CS teachers, and we have been innovating Microsoft Office specifically with education in mind.”

Akin took the podium next and demonstrated several new apps, including Microsoft Translate, which does simultaneous translation in dozens of languages, and 3D paint, which takes the 2D program and not only makes it three-dimensional but allows a student to place the object out in the world.

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There were numerous stations in the Manuel Rodriguez Jr. Board Auditorium where staff members and students could experience virtual reality, write code for robots and Minecraft, or watch Worthing students’ choreographed robots perform.

Worthing 11th-grader Joseph Linsey has only been in computer science class since the beginning of the semester, but he is already hooked. “I plan to go to LSU and become a technology engineer,” he said.

For Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code, HISD created 15 Days of Code, which is made up of interactive calendars that allow students to engage in a new coding experience every day. The 15 Days of Code continues through Dec. 21.