Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Girls can code the National Christmas Tree

National Christmas Tree - Photo by Tim Evanson
The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, announced yesterday its partnership with Google in support of the 92nd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting. Thanks to Google's Made with Code initiative, girls from the Warrendale neighborhood and across the country will experience the beauty of code by lighting up holiday trees in President's Park, one of America's 401 national parks and home to the White House.

"Millions of girls will have the chance to explore science, technology, engineering, and math in connection with one of America's national parks and as part of a historic American holiday tradition," said Dan Wenk, president of the National Park Foundation. "We are grateful for Google's partnership and shared commitment to connecting youth to our nation's treasured places."

Google's Made with Code is a movement launched in June 2014 to inspire millions of girls to learn to code, and to help them see coding as a means to pursue their dream careers.  Beginning on December 2, girls can head to madewithcode.com to code a design for one of the 56 state and territory trees. Girls can select the shape, size, and color of the lights, and animate different patterns using introductory programming language and their designs will appear live on the trees.

"Made with Code is a fun and easy way for millions of girls to try introductory code and see Computer Science as a foundation for their futures. We're thrilled that this holiday season families across the country will be able to try their hands at a fun programming project," stated Google's Susan Molinari, vice president of public policy and government affairs.

"While national parks are famous for breathtaking scenery and American history, there's a lot more to their care than meets the eye," National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis added. "More than ever, the National Park Service relies on scientists, engineers and good data to take the best care of these special places. We want to spark an early love for science and math and match it with a passion for nature and history – the National Park Foundation and Google are helping us do just that."

Presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the National Christmas Tree Lighting will be held Thursday, December 4, 2014, at 5 p.m. Girls can code their own state and territory trees throughout the month of December, and visitors can see and code the designs live in Washington, D.C.

For event information and talent announcements, please visit www.thenationaltree.org and follow the National Christmas Tree on Twitter at @TheNationalTree. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2014.
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