We MapQuest employees love our jobs, but some days, like today, we love our jobs just a little more.
Today, we are helping lay the foundation for next-gen builders of culture and code. In the end, some 600 Denver Public School students will fill MapQuest’s halls during a weeklong program dedicated to providing them with an “Hour of Code.” Over the course of Computer Science Week (Dec. 8-14), each MapQuest employee in our headquarter office will lead an “Hour of Code” session providing code curriculum, instruction, an introduction to real careers that STEM education can lead to, mentoring, a completion certificate and homework to continue the learning. The experience is meant to provide actual tactical knowledge, as well as reduce the barriers to STEM higher education and careers for students everywhere of every age.
Our participation in the nationwide “Hour of Code” initiative underscores our belief in investing in STEM education for all and creating more opportunities for girls to choose STEM fields. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies are essential to daily operations at MapQuest affecting every department, every project, and every product and service we offer to consumers.
“Hour of Code” is an initiative by CSEdWeek and code.org to introduce computer programming to 10 million students and encourage them to learn programming. Curriculum and instruction tips were provided by code.org and several other accredited organizations, and technologists across the country were encouraged to offer time, instruction and mentoring to students of all ages.
MapQuest and AOL volunteers in Denver, Dulles, San Francisco and New York will be instructing one-hour classes around code with curriculum that is pre-accredited, engaging and a baseline for future development.
Dulles AOL / Case Center
Tuesday, Dec. 9; Stone Bridge High School
AOL San Francisco
Tuesday, Dec. 9; Francisco Middle School
AOL NYC / 770 Broadway
Wednesday, Dec. 10; PS 282
As our general manager, Brian McMahon, said, “While I’m happy these students will walk away with a general understanding of how code works, I’m happier the kids have a mentor and a friend to help them understand how and why code is cool. Obstacles and intimidation prevent so many from learning the basics of code, and this immersion will help lay the foundation that computer science is fun, interesting and the future of nearly every industry.”
Representatives from the Department of Children’s Affairs, City of Denver; Colorado Technology Association; Denver Public Schools, and University Preparatory charter school students will host a pep rally before kicking off the inaugural hour of code in Denver this morning.
Sessions will continue throughout the week with on- and offline lessons taught by the MapQuest Professor teams. Host to numerous student groups throughout the year, MapQuest hopes to create an easy architecture and network of Colorado technology businesses that can support STEM activities within the community going forward.