By Joseph (Joey) Endicott
Teacher, Secondary Mathematics and Computer Science at Weiser High School

For the second year, Weiser High School has teamed up with Annex Charter School and Park Intermediate School to promote the “Hour of Code.”  This is a nationwide event in which local schools provide opportunities for students to learn about the field of computer science.  Each school in the Weiser School District, along with Annex Charter, participated in the Hour of Code in some way.

Students at Weiser High School were eager to introduce the 6th-8th graders at Annex to computer science.  “We like CS because you can be creative, and it challenges you in unique ways. It’s different from other classes because instead of listening to a teacher, you’re teaching yourself.  Visually, you can create your own colors and pictures using code” said Kenzi Seward, Grace McKie and Merci Vargas, all students in Weiser’s computer science program.

Visiting Park School stands out for many high school students as one of their favorite days of the year, and their satisfaction in helping the younger 4th and 5th graders is clearly visible.  Ulises Medina and Jorge Frias, two students who helped at Park School, said that “We love CS because technology is getting better every day.  Because the field is constantly growing, it’s best to be in the know about it.”

One of the largest Hour of Code events in Weiser Schools was at Pioneer Elementary.  The events there drew the attention of PBS, local newspapers, as well as many parents and families.  Pioneer proved that students of any age can learn principles of coding, with every class participating in activities with visual, hands-on representations of the concepts. 

From the foundations taught at Pioneer Elementary, to college-level courses taught at the high school, Weiser School District is truly on the cutting edge of computer science education.  Given these opportunities, Weiser grads will enter higher education, or in some cases the job market, ahead of their peers.  With literally hundreds of tech companies in the Treasure Valley, and thousands of tech-related jobs available, it is critical that we continue preparing our students for the field of computer science.