This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
Computer science has been called the new literacy for the 21st century. And yet, computer science education is on the decline in the U.S., where only 5 percent of students learn how to program.
The Hour of Code, a campaign created by Code.org that began Dec. 9, aimed to push the U.S. in the right direction by working with school districts to help introduce more than 10 million students to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week. The tutorials, which are designed as a game that teaches basic coding principles, were created in collaboration with engineers from Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook.
The campaign skyrocketed past its goal thanks largely to teachers who used the programs in their classrooms. In seven days, 15 million students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade participated and wrote 500 million lines of code. The infographic from Code.org below showcases the stats from the first week.
Interest in the tutorials didn't drop off after Computer Science Education Week ended. The lines of code keep piling on and more students are joining in.
Since the first week's numbers were compiled, another 106 million lines of code have been written and another three million students have participated. To date, nearly 606 million lines of code have been written by student and more than 18.2 million have participated.
Not every student who started the hour of code actually finished. The numbers that Code.org provided are based just on participation, not completion. In the view of Code.org's creators—brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi—the Hour of Code isn't a panacea to America's computer science worker shortage. It's just the beginning. The real goal is for programming to become part of a school's regular curriculum alongside math, science and reading.