GREENWICH, Conn. -- Over 1,000 kids, double from last year, will learn computer programming through an "Hour of Code" the Bruce Museum is offering this month at local schools.
The museum started running the global program three years ago to promote the message that "anyone can learn how to code."
The Bruce Museum reached 550 students in six schools in 2015.
This year, the program aims to reach younger learners, said Kate Dzikiewicz, Bruce Museum's Paul Griswold Howes Fellow, who is spearheading the program.
The program will be offered at Glenville School, Julian Curtiss School, Eastern Middle School, North Street School, Cos Cob School, Parkway Elementary School, and the Cos Cob Library, in the Greenwich area, and Park Avenue School and John F. Kennedy Magnet School in Port Chester, N.Y.
Dzikiewicz has given the one-hour lesson a unique "museum flair," in that, rather than code using generic characters, students in grades 4 to 8 are learning to code with Kari the Kairuku, a member of an ancient species of penguin found by the Bruce Museum’s Curator of Science Dr. Daniel Ksepka.
In the exercise, kids watch an educational animation about the extinct penguins, then make their own animated story about the bird.
“For many children, Hour of Code is their first introduction into the world of coding and computer science,” said Dzikiewicz.
“We’re hoping that if children have an engaging first experience that they might maintain that interest for years to come.”