Thousands learn to program through Code Iowa

Grant Wood Elementary School receives Code Iowa Technology Award
Grant Wood Elementary School is one of six schools or districts in Iowa that received a $3,500 Code Iowa Technology Award for helping students learn computer science during the “Hour of Code.”

The room is eerily quiet. Students’ eyes are glued to their computers, geared up with headphones and a mouse to take on the challenge. Suddenly, a young girl’s hands go up in the air as she yells, “Yes! I did it!”

That’s the “Hour of Code.”

More than 500 classrooms, libraries, afterschool clubs and more took on the “Hour of Code” in early December. It is an annual, international celebration of computer programming meant to introduce the skills and careers computer science offers to those students who might not otherwise be aware. Programming offered through leads students through how to code games, tapping into their love for technology to show them they can enjoy it and create with it too.

In Iowa, the STEM Council localized that effort and called it, “Code Iowa,” partnering with NewBoCo and, as well as Google and Verizon who together provided $40,000 for six $3,500 technology awards and future computer science trainings for 2017. Anyone who participated in the “Hour of Code” is recognized as a Certified Code Iowa Partner and the six schools and districts across Iowa who received one of six technology awards are:

  • Humboldt Community School District
  • Highland Elementary School in Waterloo
  • Spirit Lake Elementary School
  • Knoxville Community School District
  • Grant Wood Elementary School in Iowa City
  • Tri-Center Middle School in Neola

Knoxville Community School District brought in guest speakers to talk about how coding relates to their jobs while Spirit Lake Elementary School “jammed the halls” to code early one morning (check out the video). Among the six awardees, more than 3,000 students participated—just a portion of the 53,000 students proposed in 150 award applications and thousands more Iowans to be reported by analytics in January.

To learn more about the six awardees or Code Iowa, visit

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