UNL Sparks 88 Students Through Hour of Code

Eighty-eight students are now aware of a passion and career pathway they never knew existed: Coding. In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, December 7th to 13th, eighty-eight Usher’s New Look high school Leadership Academy students across our chapter cities, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Detroit and Brooklyn, participated in Hour of Code workshops led by their college UNL peers. Each student was “sparked” through a one-hour immersion into coding, which exposed them basic fundamentals and processes of code operations. Through fun activities centered around coding, each city’s event unlocked students’ passions for technology and sparked their minds to start thinking towards different STEAM career possibilities. All students who participated received a certificate from Code.Org for completing the Hour of Code. Check out each city’s recap below!


In Milwaukee, 30 students used the Hour of Code website to explore different code games and puzzles. Milwaukee Program Coordinator, Percy Eddie, told us his students were so engaged in the games and determined to beat more levels, he had a hard time getting them to go home after the hour was over!

Makayla Williams, a UNL Academy Sophomore, told us, “I had a great experience doing my hour of code. It was fun being able to work on something so entertaining. At first I was hesitant because it was my first time coding and I thought it wouldn’t be as entertaining and that it would be very hard to do, but when I started they gave me step by step instructions and because I knew what I was doing it was fun to finish and help others.”

Jaya Sims, also a UNL Academy Sophomore, said, “This was a new experience for me and something that really sparked my interest in coding.”


In Brooklyn, program coordinators Shanice Clarke and Jeremy Dominguez began by helping 16 students get in the mindset of coding through an “unplugged” obstacle course activity where they had to navigate by thinking in terms of computer processes. Separated into two teams, Brooklyn Academy youth selected one team member who received specific communication to the finish line. Any inability to follow the specific directions called for them to go back to the starting line. Following the game, students engaged in games on the Hour of Code website.

Honesty Howell, UNL Academy 10th Grader said, “I learned that if you don’t give direct operations, then it wont do what you want it to do.”


In Detroit, 12 students with interest in STEAM met up at the Ford Resource Center to participate in the Hour of Code. They completed games on the Hour of Code website and even had the event double as a service project by bringing in can goods in support of Gleaners Food Bank and The Mercado, a place inside of the Ford Resource Center that provides free food for families in Southwest Detroit. Check out the video!


In Atlanta, Cedric Rogers, founder of the Prizm App, provided 30 students an inside look at careers in STEAM. Then, students jumped into the Hour of Code by learning basic coding operations through a Minecraft themed game on the Hour of Code website. Next, Melvin Hoyer, a recent Tuskegee grad who majored in aerospace engineering and is headed to grad school at Auburn, took the Hour of Code to the next level, leading the students in small group activities on how to use an Arduino kit to connect circuits, make an LED light blink and make a super cool electronic musical instrument called a Theremin. What in the world is a Theremin?