Code, Create, and Conquer with FLVS Hour of Code

As a Florida Virtual School (FLVS) student since 6th grade, Omar has always been interested in technology. His interest and some prodding from his older brother led Omar to join the FLVS Technology Club and enroll in coding classes. Last year, after multiple trials, challenges, recommendations, and inspiration from fellow club members and sponsors, Omar created his very own online game. Fast forward to this year as a freshman in Full Time High School, he’s the reigning president of the Technology Club and was a featured presenter at the 2023 FLVS Hour of Code, an event that occurs every year at the beginning of December.

Tech Wonders and Real-world Challenges

Last week, we celebrated Hour of Code, a worldwide effort to demystify code, broaden participation in the field of computer science, and show that anyone can learn the basics (in as little as an hour!). FLVS students and instructors spent the week participating in presentations, events, and activities to share the magic of coding. 

The 2023 Hour of Code theme focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and the endless creativity that stems from it. Omar took center stage this year, focusing his presentation on the marvels of AI and the real-world drawbacks that come with it.

“Hour of Code is always a fun event where all students can learn new skills and have fun at the same time,” Omar said. “I love presenting to my fellow students and sharing my love of all things tech.”

From Maze Escapes to Code Creations

The past week was filled with exciting and informative Hour of Code presentations that related to students at all skill levels – from coding newbies to seasoned pros. Several presentations included Scratch programming, a block-based visual programming language designed for students to create games, interactive stories, animations, and choose-your-own-adventure stories. Students learned to design their own droid in a Star Wars galaxy, solved problems in a fun interactive game with the Grinch and created an animal dance party with code and music.  All the presentations showed how fun and creative coding can be! 

Logan, a third grader, attended his first Hour of Code. He had so much fun during his first session that he decided to attend all remaining sessions for the week. “It’s so cool that we are learning to make games with characters I already know,” said Logan. “It’s 100 million percent awesome!”

Logan, a FLVS homeschool student, attends a presentation by technology instructor, Ms. Whittington, on coding underwater worlds in Minecraft.

Another presentation explained how to use Python, another programming language. Omar has used both of these programming languages to create games. For last year’s Hour of Code, Omar created a game where the main character must dodge obstacles to exit the maze successfully. When creating his games, Omar first outlines what he wants the players to see in the game and then how he will create it. Finally, he designs the game, which links everything together. 

And while Omar admits that coding might not be everyone’s cup of tea, he believes that game creation is an absolute thrill. 

“It might seem challenging initially, but with time and focus—something FLVS generously provides—it becomes a rewarding adventure,” Omar declared.

Since joining FLVS, Omar has appreciated the flexibility of online learning and the time he has to explore his interests – such as coding and the computer science program of study.

The Coding Fun Continues

Hour of Code may be over this year, but students can still explore coding with FLVS through our  courses, including:

Students can enroll in individual courses year-round through FLVS Flex. For more information or to learn how to enroll, visit our FLVS Flex page.

Katie HodginsKatie Hodgins brings her wealth of experience and passion to the FLVS team, assuming the role of Content and Public Relations Specialist. A military veteran and lifelong learner, Katie enjoys communicating unique and innovative stories about people, places, and opportunities to inspire and engage the next generation. Having traveled throughout the world, she is excited to plant roots here in Florida and with Florida Virtual School.

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