Nurturing Problem-Solving Skills, Logic and Creativity Through an Hour of Code Event

A SMART Customer story with Charter Schools USA

Teachers and Schools

CSUSA schools involved: 7
CSUSA states impacted: GA, FL, IN, MN

Key Challenge

Making computer science accessible to all students.

SMART Solution

SMART Board® 6000 series
SMART Learning Suite (SMART Notebook® and SMART lab™)


A collaborative Hour of Code event that provided 175 students with an opportunity to learn 21st Century skills first-hand from a SMART developer.

“The conversation with the developers was very interesting. They not only explained concepts to the students but they gave me information about areas in computer science that I can explore with my students.”
— RosaHelena Jennings


Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) is the first education management company to receive corporation system-wide accreditation through AdvancED, and is one of the nation’s leading charter school management companies. They currently manage 84 schools in seven states, serving more than 70,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Their innovative educational advantages include advanced technology, meaningful parental involvement, student uniforms, consistent and fairly-enforced discipline policies, highly qualified and motivated staff, a community focus, integrated character education and high academic growth and performance.

They believe that 21st Century skills -- like critical thinking and problem solving -- are important traits students need to learn in the classroom. Therefore, today’s educators need to prepare their students for jobs that do not yet exist.


Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) collaborated with SMART on an Hour of Code event designed to inspire their students and immerse them in a fun, engaging, problem-solving competition involving computer programming with SMART developers.

Event Details:

Teachers created interactive lessons on SMART Notebook® that integrated concepts from the Hour of Code and computer programming. Select teachers and their students were chosen to participate in an HOC activity with SMART’s developers, who demonstrated basic coding and answered questions about what it’s like to be a “coder”.


The CSUSA and SMART Hour of Code event provided 175 students from 7 schools and 4 states, an opportunity to learn 21st Century skills first-hand from a SMART developer -- and join a global movement. It also let them explore programming basics and exposed them to basic logic problems.

As a result of the experience, students had a better understanding of coding and its role in today’s increasingly digital environment. Also, in speaking with SMART software developers about their activity challenges, it sparked lively coding discussions within each CSUSA classroom.

Ultimately, CSUSA students gained insight into real-world situations and potential careers, which motivated them to challenge themselves in their coursework.

Working with CSUSA Students:

Here’s what a few of SMART’s developers had to say about the CSUSA students they worked with:

“I couldn't get over how impressed I was with the students at CSUSA. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day I was working for them!”
-- Keith Allen, Software Development Manager

“I loved answering questions from the kids. This gave them a chance to understand what a programmer’s job looks like, and also gave them an idea of something they could do in the future.”
--Benjamin Schuilling, Senior Software Developer

“I loved seeing the kids find unique solutions to their code challenges!”
-- Jackie Sproat, Senior Software Test Developer

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Posted: April 18, 2018
in Outcome Studies