Pitt-Johnstown's Coding and Digital Literacy Initiative Highlights Hour of Code


posted December 09, 2016

Pitt-Johnstown's Coding and Digital Literacy Initiative used the Dec. 9, 2016, Hour of Code to introduce West Side 4th and 5th grade students to coding through fun themes.

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown formally launched the 21st Century Workforce Capacity Coding and Digital Literacy Initiative on December 9, 2016, in conjunction with the global Hour of Code.

Hour of Code

Pitt-Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar, along with the Greater Johnstown School District, hosted the inaugural Hour of Code event in which West Side 4th and 5th grade students were introduced to coding through themes such as Star Wars, Minecraft and Moana. The program was guided by Pitt-Johnstown Coding Outreach Director Roxanne Jenner. 

Pitt-Johnstown's Coding and Digital Literacy Initiative will provide computer science instruction to more than 550 students at area elementary school students at Forest Hills, Somerset, and Greater Johnstown.

Dr. Spectar recently announced the Coding and Digital Literacy Initiative as a call to action to give every child an opportunity to learn computer science and to fortify the future workforce and overall competitiveness of our region in the 21st century. 

At Pitt-Johnstown, we believe that, given the right tools beginning at K-12, every child will be ready to compete and succeed in the Real World,” said President Spectar. “We are convinced that the doors opening up in the new global technological economy should be open to all our children. Hence, we are proud to join our partners in launching this Moon/Planet-shot: The Coding Literacy Initiative to re-position the Johnstown area as a leader in innovation and growth, a position enjoyed by the region at the dawn of the industrial age.” 

Ms. Jenner, is leading the effort to add "tech skills" in general, and specifically "coding," to the skill base of youth in Cambria and surrounding counties. Key components include:  

Hour of Code

  • Basic coding vocabulary  
  • Fun, interactive and project-driven coding classes  
  • Real World application of coding skills  
  • Map to current and future evolution of Coding Accreditation  
  • Free Community Coding Outreach Courses  
  • Pre-service Education and K-12 Certification  

Ms. Jenner is a University of Pittsburgh graduate and longtime information technology professional.  She will deliver the tech curriculum using project-based learning with LEGOs, Dash and Dot, Scratch among other platforms.  

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