2 Tennessee Districts Team up to Set World Coding Record

Students from two school districts in Tennessee — Knox County and Oak Ridge City Schools — have teamed up to break the world record for the largest computer programming lesson.

Held on November 8, the event comprised 6,778 participants coding using classroom computers and Scratch as they watched an instructional YouTube video featuring local students. The attempt was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest computer programming lesson to take place at multiple venues earlier this month.

"Seeing students excited about learning is something every educator loves," said Becky Ashe, principal at L&N STEM Academy, in a prepared statement. "How cool will it be for a fifth grader today to look at a future edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and say 'I was part of setting that world record.'"

Classroom volunteers for the project came from local parent teacher associations, local technology companies and Volunteer Knoxville.

The attempt was led by Code TN Project Manager Caleb Fristoe and Cirrus Insight CEO and Co-Founder Brandon Bruce.

"Computer Science will provide the blue-collar work of the future, and by starting today, we can equip our students with the necessary skills to compete for those jobs," Fristoe said in a prepared statement. "We were inspired by the work of Code.org which organizes the annual Hour of Code. We participate in that every year and we decided to make a concerted effort to set a world record. There are now 6,778 local elementary, middle, and high school students who are really excited about coding."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.