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K-State Today

December 18, 2023

K-State computer science department hosts 'Hour of Code' event

Submitted by Madeline Mathis

Safia Malallah, teaching assistant professor of computer science, hosted an "Hour of Code" event on Dec. 5 aimed at introducing participants of all ages to computer science through interactive projects and engaging activities.

The event had participants as young as three years old, and most had no prior programming experience. The event featured four sections aimed at different age groups and experience levels.

The little tech explorers group featured unplugged activities such as coloring and stories for the youngest participants. The byte innovators group was aimed at children ages six and above and included small computer science activities focusing on networking, data science and game design. Block adventures I and II were the most advanced sections, introducing larger projects through block programming while fostering creativity and problem-solving skills.

The event coincides with Malallah's principal area of research, the nexus of education and computing, with a focus on early childhood education. Her research focuses on teaching young children computational science concepts using computers and programming.

Malallah also conducts research on women in computing. She actively encourages females to embrace computer science as a future career in her home country of Kuwait and promotes women in computing activities through the Girls Researching Our World workshop for Kansas teenagers.