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Foster Participates in “Hour of Code” To Highlight Computer Science Education In Bolingbrook

Dec 19, 2013
Press Release

Congressman Bill Foster Participates In The Hour of Code

Joliet, IL — Today, Congressman Bill Foster visited BJ Ward Elementary School in Bolingbrook to participate in an “Hour of Code” event and talk about the importance of computer science education. 

“As a scientist and businessman who built a career using computer programing, it’s wonderful to see students learning these important skills,” said Foster.  “Watching kids learn to code is an important reminder that any child can succeed if given the tools and training.  Learning computer science skills is essential for success in today’s economy and should be a core part of our children’s education.”

Rep. Foster spoke with students about how as teenagers, he and his brother Fred started a company in their basement that now manufactures most of the computerized theater lighting equipment in the U.S., including Disneyland, Broadway shows, Super-Bowl halftime shows, churches, schools, and community theatres throughout the world.

Foster also explained the importance of computer code in scientific research.  Computer simulations were essential in the discovery of the Top Quark, the heaviest known form of matter, at the experiment Foster worked on at Fermilab.  Foster worked at Fermilab for 23 years.

Congressman Foster spent the next hour in Katie Rios Thomas' classroom, watching and helping her students as they got their first hands-on experience writing simple computer programs.  The Hour of Code is a nationwide event sponsored by Code.org, encouraging students to learn more about computer science education.  More information is available here.

"The kids were making amazing progress.  We saw them start from zero, then watched them optimizing code size by adjusting iteration counts on program loops within the first 45 minutes", added Foster.

Anyone can participate in the hour of code by going to code.org/learn.