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Over a million students to start programming through Hour of Code

The initiative has already inspired 20 million people in the US to try coding

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Over a million young people have signed up to a new scheme designed by code.org to get more people into computer programming.

The Hour of Code campaign started being rolled out across to classrooms across the UK less than two weeks ago and is already proving very popular.

The initiative aims to give students, teachers and parents a 60 minute coding course so they can see first-hand what it involves.

The campaign will end with a week-long focus on coding between March 3 and 9.

Avid Larizadeh, who runs Hour Of Code in the UK, said on Twitter today: "Over 1M students have tried the in the UK! Have you? "

She is quoted by Sky News saying: "We are delighted that so many children are getting a taste of what coding is for the first time.

"This is about demystifying code and showing that everyone, girls and boys, young and old can experience the basics, be part of the tech conversation and have fun with it."

The Hour of Code campaign has already proved successful in the US, where nearly 20 million students tried coding during the week of December 9, 2013.

The campaign is backed by Tech City UK chairman Joanna Shields and the UK’s Digital By Default champion, Martha Lane Fox, as well as several other high-profile figures including Mark Zuckerberg, will.i.am, and Richard Branson.

The campaign is also a key part of the Year of Code campaign which was announced by Chancellor George Osborne and education secretary Michael Gove earlier this month ahead of the roll out of a new national computing syllabus this September, which will be compulsory for all students between the ages of 5 and 16. 

The new computing curriculum replaces the old ICT programme of study, which focused on computer literacy, with more up–to–date content teaching children how to code, create programmes and understand how a computer works. 

The programme was devised with teachers and experts including the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Royal Academy of Engineering, with input from Microsoft, Google and leaders in the computer games industry.

Mike Warriner, UK engineering director at Google, said: "The UK has a proud computing history but with more and more industries wanting computer scientists, coding has never been in more demand. 



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