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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Dec 27

Carver Elementary Students Learn Computer Science Skills at Jefferson Lab

Posted on December 27, 2017 at 10:08 AM by Communications Department

 Volunteers from Jefferson Lab’s Information Technology Division and Science Education staff provided 50 Carver Elementary School 5th graders with an opportunity to learn basic computer programming. Students participated in computer coding activities and learned about computer science careers during their visit to Jefferson Lab.

12-27 computer labThe activity was provided through the international Hour of Code project, which is helping to raise awareness about the need for digital literacy. “The purpose of the Hour of Code effort is to encourage students, their parents and their teachers to participate in and to learn more about computer programming and the many career opportunities in the field of computer science,” notes Education Administrator, Lisa Surles-Law.“It is important for students to see what goes into making computers interactive and how code is built to meet the needs of a program’s users,” she continued. “This activity also allows students to see how the skills they are learning and using now will be helpful in the future.”

The collaborative activity was presented in the format of creating a Star Wars themed game. Working in groups, students developed and tested their coding skills by executing commands that were in the form of “drag and drop” blocks to construct the code and complete tasks on the screen. A familiar Star Wars figure was the focus of each puzzle. The students used problem-solving skills and enhanced their technological skills and understanding.

This was the lab’s third year participating in the Hour of Code campaign. A coalition of technology leaders, businesses, organizations and academic institutions developed the Hour of Code campaign through a public nonprofit ( is dedicated to “expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.”