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HOLY FAMILY ACADEMY LAUNCHES SCHOOL-WIDE APP DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

PITTSBURGH (Dec. 2) – As part of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), an annual worldwide program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science, Holy Family Academy will launch a school-wide application development for their students.

The Academy’s 115 high school students will learn JavaScript and develop apps. This project is part of the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) program. Students will participate in the “Holy Family Academy App-a-Thon” and create an app using code.org’s App Lab.

        All CSEdWeek activities are student-led and are being powered by Holy Family Academy’s technology entrepreneur program EDGE (Explore, Design, Grow, and Empower). EDGE students, guided by faculty and staff, used design thinking to test and iterate the activities. By the end of CSEdWeek, EDGE students will review all apps and select the top three per grade to be reviewed by an HP computer scientist. One winner per grade will receive a prize. The top three Holy Family Academy apps will be showcased in the Academy’s newsletter and published on the Web site www.hfa-pgh.org.

Beginning in January 2017, all Holy Family Academy students will develop new apps as part of interdisciplinary projects in their Cultural Literacy (integrated English and Social Studies) classes. The focus is to integrate computer science into the humanities curriculum to empower urban high-school students to learn JavaScript, under the lens of interdisciplinary project-based learning.

Holy Family Academy 9th grade students will produce multi-page apps that explore social justice issues. The 10th grade students will create an app that will highlight lyrics from the Broadway musical Hamilton, and provide a ‘pop up’ with brief details of historical, political, literary, or musical elements. The 11th grade students will create apps to facilitate primary-source analysis of photographs and prints. Upon project completion, apps from one grade level will be tested by students in another. Those that are deemed market ready will be made available as an open-source learning opportunity via our technology and curricular partners.

Originally conceived by the Computing in the Core coalition, Code.org® organizes CSEdWeek as a grassroots campaign supported by 350 partners and 100,000 educators worldwide. CSEdWeek is held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

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About Holy Family Academy: Holy Family Academy is a private, college-career preparatory Catholic high school in Pittsburgh. The Academy opened in 2014 to support highly qualified urban students who lack access to a rigorous STEM curriculum. Full-time work study jobs one day a week at more than 60 businesses throughout the greater Pittsburgh region provide hands-on learning and real-world experience. Field-based learning takes place one day at week too at education partner sites (Manchester Craftsman’s Guild, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh’s Energy Innovation Center and The Citizen Science Lab/Duquesne University). The Academy currently has 115 students in grades 9 to 11, with a cohort moving to 12th grade in 2017. An athletic program, as well as 13 clubs (including SeaPerch Robotics) round out the experience. The students learn for the future with bold expectations that connect the whole child – self, work, community, health, and spirit. Visit www.hfa-pgh.org for more information.