Computer coding may not be a contact sport, but it can sure get just as competitive!
In celebration of National Computer Science Education Week (December 4 – 10), the NYC Department of Education announced the launch of a bracket-style, citywide coding competition, the CS4All Hack League.
Through the Hack League, students from 62 middle and high schools across all five boroughs are getting a chance to create and design computer games in school-based hackathons that are taking place throughout Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek). Once the hackathons end, school-based juries will select a winner from each participating school to advance to borough-wide and then citywide coding competitions that will be held later this school year.
As part of the Hack League, participating students get to apply computer science concepts they’ve learned in the classroom to solve real-world challenges. This year’s Hack League participants will design computer games that tackle issues like “Connected Cities” and “News Literacy.”
To help students participate in the inaugural Hack League, the DOE teamed up with the non-profit, Games for Change (G4C), to provide additional training to City teachers throughout November. The Hack League itself is managed by both the DOE and G4C.
“As they learn computer science, our students create, collaborate, and solve problems,” said Chancellor Carmen Fariña as she kicked off CSEdWeek. “Computer Science Education Week is a great time for students, teachers, and families to get engaged, and it’s wonderful to see initiatives like the CS4All Hack League that encourage our students to compete and excel in their academics as they would on a sports field or on a stage.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the NYC Department of Education on the first C4SAll Hack League,” said Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change . “Games design is a great applied learning opportunity for students to exercise computer science skills in activities that they are passionate about. To combine games design with social issues also gives students agency to consider how they can have positive impacts on their communities while building 21st century and career readiness skills.”
Including the Hack League, a total of 347 schools have signed up to participate in CSEdWeek-related activities this year, including “Hour of Code” events, hackathons, parent-based activities, speeches from guest speakers, and computer science lessons. It is thanks to organizations and community partners like G4C, CSNYC, Robin Hood, the Fund for Public Schools, Code Brooklyn, and Math for America, that thousands of City students can participate in CSEdWeek activities this year.
The DOE’s participation in CSEdWeek and the new Hack League are part of the DOE’s ongoing Computer Science for All initiative, which envisions that every City student will receive computer science education in elementary, middle and high school by 2025.
To learn more about our progress with CS for All, check out the video below, and stay tuned to the Morning Bell for all your Hack League updates!