STEM

CSAIL at MIT Hosts Hour of Code Event for High School Students

The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) held its second annual Hour of Code event on Friday, December 11, with 150 students from local high schools participating.

The Hour of Code is an initiative launched in 2013 by Code.org to introduce children and adults of all ages to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week.

Math and computer science students from schools in Cambridge, Charlestown, Roxbury, Somerville and other high schools in the greater Boston area took part in this year's CSAIL event, according to information from MIT.

Researchers from the lab demonstrated some of the projects they're working on, including a 3-D printer called "MultiFab" that can print objects with up to 10 different materials at once; a 6-foot-tall, 400 pound humanoid robot called Atlas that can open doors, climb stairs and drive a car; and a wireless device that can see through walls to detect, track and identify individuals.

In addition to the demonstrations, MIT graduate students were on hand to talk to participants about how they got started in programming and why programming is important.

The Hour of Code encourages everybody to try computer programming for one hour during Computer Science Education Week, which was December 7-13 this year. The goal of the initiative is to demystify computer programming and demonstrate that anybody can learn coding basics. Since the initiative launched two years ago, more than 166 million people around the world have participated in the event, and tech companies such as Apple and Microsoft have hosted Hour of Code events.

Further information about the Hour of Code can be found on Code.org's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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