This week, Accenture is joining forces with teachers and Code.org to help students around the world build computer and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. This follows Accenture’s recently announced pledge of US$10 million to support initiatives to expand computer science education through Internet Association, a group that represents global internet companies on matters of public policy.
“Technology is creating jobs that didn’t even exist five years ago and learning to code can transform the trajectory of a student’s life and career,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer and ‘chief coder.’ “As part of our commitment to working with Code.org to prepare young people for the digital economy, Accenture employees last year dedicated more than 10,000 hours to Hour of Code, inspiring more than 100,000 students around the world to learn basic coding skills. We’ve seen the impact that Code.org is having on students and this year we’re doing more to support that — more hours and more classroom sessions to spark an interest in working with the technologies of tomorrow.”
Hour of Code was launched in 2013 by Code.org, a non-profit organisation dedicated to expanding access to computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. The programme reaches millions of students through a one-hour introduction to coding and computer science. For the third straight year, Accenture is teaming with Code.org on Hour of Code and other STEM-related educational initiatives.
New for 2017, Accenture Technology has harnessed its internal expertise to create a coding tutorial that gives students a better understanding of artificial intelligence (AI). Students will discover how various AI techniques can teach a robot to explore a new planet — including recognising animals and plants, understanding a new language, and conversing with inhabitants.
“The Hour of Code campaign has already led to more than 450 million hours of code being completed– it’s mind-boggling. To date, at least one out of every 10 students worldwide has participated in the Hour of Code program,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org. “This year, we are asking for people to not only do an hour of code, but go beyond one hour and think about what they can do to ensure that computer science education continues for years to come.”
The support for coding education has also been backed by the leadership here in the UAE, after HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the ‘One Million Arab Coders’ initiative earlier this year, which seeks to equip “one million” young Arabs with the tools to build their future, starting with fluency in coding and programming.