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Hours of Code returns to the personal event

LINCOLN, Neb. (COLOGNE) – It was Lincoln’s first in-person event of 2019, and judging by the amount of curious eyes and smiles, Lincoln students wanted to go back.

“I love it here,” said Tatum Placke, a 9-year-old coed enthusiast. “I love it here now.”

Plaque was not alone in this sentiment.

“My favorite part is like touching things and coding them,” said Ezekiel Olson, an 8-year-old code enthusiast.

About two dozen tables lined the conference walls of the Nebraska Innovation Campus. Representatives from various community organizations, such as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools, came to demonstrate computer science to elementary and middle school children.

“This is a great opportunity for students and adults to learn about coding and all the opportunities that come with studying and coding in computer science,” said Kate Engel, director of strategic partnerships and communications for the Nebraska Innovation Campus.

The event was free to the public, and more than 600 people registered for the event, which ran from 9 a.m. to noon. On the ground floor, students were given coding lessons; the second floor is full of activities aimed at teaching the next generation the value of computer science.

“When you start, you start doing it,” said Matt Rinne, LPS K-5 computer science teacher. “You can learn those basics and then everything can be built off of that and you can really set yourself up for the future.”

Some booths included projects created through real-life coding, such as the UNL Aerospace Club’s Lunabotics craft, designed for a competition that simulates digging into the lunar surface.

“Their faces when they see how the robot can move and it’s really cool because I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like that when I was a kid,” said Angeline Luther, a junior at UNL and Lunabotics. leader “And only they know at that age, ‘These are the things I can do.’

This is a place for children with different interests. Tatum is on the autism spectrum, and she said she likes to think while coding.

“Oh, I may have had a problem here, or I may have had a problem here,” Plack said. “It helps me fix little mistakes. I see it before it happens and I go, ‘Oh, maybe it’s not going to go well.’

This coming week is Computer Science Education Week.

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