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Milwaukee, WI

MKE Hour of Code

Presented by the MKE Tech Hub Coalition and powered by Newaukee

Event Details:

Demonstrating a regional commitment to local tech talent development


You’re Invited!

The MKE Tech Hub Coalition is inviting area companies, nonprofit organizations and schools to demonstrate a commitment to local talent development by spending an hour mentoring students on the future of work in a digital economy and/or to do a tech related activity during Computer Science Week: December 7–13, 2020.

The Why

Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week and is a global campaign to celebrate and expand STEM learning opportunities for students. 

As part of the MKE Tech Hub Coalition’s commitment to advancing Milwaukee as a region for technology, business and talent development, we are proud to partner with the local business, education and non-profit communities on MKE Hour of Code. The MKE Tech Hub Coalition wants students to understand the opportunities available in our city and see themselves as a valuable part of the #MKETech ecosystem. Tech is embedded in all of our key industries and has become a foundational skill set to stay competitive in the future of work.

The MKE Tech Hub Coalition is a member of CSforAll. CSforALL’s mission is to make high-quality computer science an integral part of the educational experience of all K-12 students and teachers and to support student pathways to college and career success.  

While there are state guidelines for access to computing and related disciplines as part of any high quality STEM education program, there is currently no overarching state strategy or dedicated funding to ensure that this occurs. Consequently, many students will never experience computing or understand it’s value in relation to the future of work. 

By joining the MKE Tech Hub Coalition’s regional MKE Hour of Code initiative, you help spread the message to students that there is a community invested in their development and a place for them in our region.

Our Goal

As part of’s global Hour of Code initiative, our mission is to serve STEM awareness and education opportunities to as many K-12 students in the Greater Milwaukee Area as possible. Our goal is to sustain a minimum of 5000 Hours of Code despite the COVID-19 pandemic with the active support of Coalition members and the greater MKE community at large.

We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty due to COVID-19. Please don’t let it impact your plans to participate. We are providing guidelines on how to run activities virtually. In our pursuit of tech equity in the region, we must come together to ensure all students feel supported by their community.

How to Participate

  1. Simply sign up at the link below. Anyone can participate – companies, schools, nonprofit organizations and more! You do not need to be a technologist to volunteer – and Code with Google offer turnkey, off-the-shelf curriculum for all age levels.
  2. Check out the 2020 virtual toolkit and the Public Events Calendar below for ways to participate in the Hour of Code. Use the resources available on or Code with Google to plan your own Hour of Code.
  3. Complete your Hour of Code during Computer Science Week (December 7-13, 2020.)
  4. Share about your experience on social media using #MKEHourofCode. Download our media kit here and shareable graphic here.
  5. Take our follow-up survey and stay connected to continue growing this initiative!

Sign Up →

Public Events Calendar

Any Day or Time

  • Artificial Intelligence Escape Room
    hosted by STEM at MSOE
    Recommended for Grades 3 – 6: Complete 5 different AI lessons to solve all of the locks on our virtual escape room! Students will complete puzzles ranging from coding activities to solving clues using infographics about AI. If you run into any issues with this room, please contact
  • Explore the 5 Big Ideas in Artificial Intelligence
    hosted by STEM at MSOE
    Recommended for All Grades: Explore and learn about the 5 Big Ideas of AI through different interactive activities. All participants who complete 5 activities will receive a limited edition “Neural Network Nerd” button from MSOE. If you run into any issues with this room, please contact

Tuesday, December 8

  • Hour of Code Livestream
    hosted by Brown Dog Gadgets
    3:00-4:00pm | Virtual
    Brown Dog Gadgets will incorporate projects using MakeCode into the livestream programming on their Facebook.
  • Hour of Code Workshop
    hosted by Gearbox Labs in partnership with Plymouth Public Library
    4:30-6:30pm | Virtual
    This 2-hour virtual workshop will introduce engineering design and coding using the Arduino UNO simulator found on Register early as space is limited to 25 attendees.

Thursday, December 10

  • Preparing for the Future of Work – Every Job is a Tech Job
    hosted by the MKE Tech Hub Coalition and member organizations
    4-5pm | Virtual
    FinTech, GreenTech, HealthTech, Industrial IoT, AI/Machine Learning, Connected Systems – industry’s use of these terms demonstrate a move toward digital transformation.  Education may not be keeping up with the rate of change leaving many students ill-informed to develop an academic and career plan that sets them up for success in the new economy.  Panelists will be discussing how their industry is changing and what that means to students who are considering how to invest in post-secondary education and training.

Did you miss this session or want to watch it again? Click here to watch a recording of the live event.

The Milwaukee region’s tech community is vibrant and growing!  Watch MKE Tech’s Building your Tech Career in Milwaukee video:

Saturday, December 12

  • 8th Annual Brothers Code
    10am-1pm | Virtual
    During this 8th Annual Brothers Code event, young people of color from middle school to college are invited to learn more about the skills and networks that can guide them to exciting opportunities and careers within the tech sector.
  • Beyond STEM – Virtual Hour of Code
    11am | Virtual
    Ever wondered how YouTube seems to be so accurate? or how Facebook recognizes your friends in photos? or how Netflix makes its recommendations? Join Beyond STEM to learn more about Learning Algorithms.

Highlighted Project Examples

88Nine Radio Milwaukee & Milwaukee Public Library
 In 2018, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Public Library co-hosted an event at the Mitchell Street Library. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett stopped by to talk about the importance of computer science education. Volunteers from the organizations were on hand to help students with their coding activities.

Betty Brinn Children's Museum
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum’s Be a Maker space offered hands-on coding activities – tech and low/no tech – highlighting data collection and visualization, computer science terminology, quick puzzles and games in 2018 & 2019.

Northwestern Mutual and Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)
In 2019, the STEM teams at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and Northwestern Mutual co-hosted a Girls + AI event, in honor of Computer Science Education Week, with the goal of encouraging young women to pursue careers in tech, and specifically, Artificial Intelligence (AI). Students participated in hands-on, visual and engaging, AI activities.

Gearbox Labs
In 2019, a 2-hour free workshop facilitated by Gearbox Labs introduced coding using a microcontroller. Attendees coded a series of LEDs and introduced variables, control settings, loops, and more.

Discovery World
Discovery World hosted a Family Weekend Hour of Code Workshop, which was open to the public and included with the price of admission.

SHARP Literacy
In 2018, SHARP Literacy used lessons to teach Loops (with Rey & BB-8 from Star Wars) and combined it with the work of Milwaukee-based animation/graphic design studio Blackbox Visual. Animation was the perfect example of using loops! They also taught debugging algorithms, how the phrase was coined by Grace Hopper and looked at the artwork of Madison-based visual artist Jennifer Angus who used *ACTUAL BUGS* in her installation art.

Stellar Elementary
Bright Stars at Stellar Elementary gained confidence in coding by solving different challenges in Minecraft.

Participating Organizations

88Nine Radio Milwaukee
• Accenture
American Family Insurance
• Ascension
Badger Mutual Insurance Company
Brown Dog Gadgets
Ever-Green Energy
Foresight Studios
GE Healthcare
Godfrey & Kahn S.C.
Johnson Controls
Landmark Credit Union
MacGregor Partners
Mars Solutions Group
• Molson Coors
Northwestern Mutual
• Reinvent Auctions
• Rising Tide Analytics
Rockwell Automation
Sabhya Technologies
• Talimer
West Bend Mutual Insurance

Beyond STEM
• COA Youth and Family Centers
Discovery World
Foresight Studios
Gearbox Labs, Inc.
Girls Who Code
Islands of Brilliance
Latinos in Tech
• Microsoft TEALS
• MKE Tech Hub Coalition
• PEARLS for Teen Girls
• Plymouth Public Library
SHARP Literacy
STEM Forward
Wisconsin FIRST LEGO League

Higher Education
Carroll University
College of Engineering University of Wisconsin – Madison
• Marquette University Opus College of Engineering 
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute

Bader Hillel Academy
• Carmen Schools (Stellar Elementary, Carmen High School)
• Cedarburg School District (Thorson Elementary School)
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Milwaukee
• Elkhorn Area School District (Career and College AcademyElkhorn Area Middle School)
• Elmbrook Schools (Burleigh Elementary School)
• Greendale Schools (College Park Elementary)
Holy Apostles School
• Kenosha Unified School District (KTEC – Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum)
• Madison Metropolitan School District (East High School)
Milwaukee Academy of Science
• Milwaukee Public Schools (Bruce-Guadalupe Community SchoolEscuela VerdeForest Home Avenue School, Golda MeirHamilton High SchoolNOVA High SchoolWashington High School of Information Technology)
• New Berlin School District
• Notre Dame School of Milwaukee
• Oconomowoc Area School District (Oconomowoc High School)
• Shorewood School District (Shorewood High School)
• St. Francis School District (Deer Creek IntermediateSt. Francis High School)
• Waukesha School District
• Whitefish Bay School District (Cumberland Elementary School, Richards Elementary SchoolWhitefish Bay High School)


  • August:
    • Advanced registration for all participating companies, schools and nonprofits
  • September:
    • Assemble your volunteer teams
    • Coordinate with school(s) and volunteers
    • Select the date/time of your activity
  • October:
    • Plan your activity
  • December:
    • Execute your activity during MKE Hour of Code
    • Share the results

What's New for 2020

  • Guidance for Virtual Events: Download our 2020 virtual toolkit for help as you plan.
  • Academic and Career Planning resources focused on ‘Technological Literacy’: What it means and why students should care. If your district has developed something already, please let us know if you are willing to share it at
    • Interested in how to implement a comprehensive plan for technological literacy in your district?  Check out this case study in the School District of New Berlin.  Thank you to their leadership team for sharing all of this great information with participating districts.
  • Signature ‘Milwaukee’ Projects: If you are a community partner interested in developing an activity based on but reflective of something purely MKE, please let us know by sending an email to  These projects will be made available to all participants with recognition for the organization who provided it.

What's Next After the MKE Hour of Code

The MKE Hour of Code serves as a spark but we are not done there!  We want all participants to consider what’s next and reach out with ideas for how the MKE Tech Hub Coalition and our partners can help you take the next step.

  • For Students: 
    • Check out the courses and projects on for additional activities you can do anytime/anywhere.
    • Work with your parent/guardian/counselor to map out a pathway to pursue a course of study with co-curricular activities that will prepare you for a career in tech.   
    • Interested in learning more about what it takes to work in a cutting-edge technology career? Open P-TECH is a great place to start your career exploration and begin building skills that will help you become well-positioned for a fulfilling career!
    • Interested in building and coding robots? Start a robotics team with FIRST Robotics! FIRST has many great programs that engages youth in mentor-based programing. Students can get involved in FIRST Lego League as young as K4 and continue their journey in FIRST Tech Challenge, or FIRST Robotic Competition, all throughout high school! For more information on program offerings or how to start a team, check out the FIRST Inspires Website.  If you have any questions about starting a robotics team in the Milwaukee area, please contact Michael Meilicke at
    • Learn about GE Healthcare Intern programs.
    • Read Glass Door’s ‘How to Get an Internship’ guide.
    • Check out Udemy’s Free Tech Courses.
  • For Nonprofits:
    • Keep up the great work!
    • Send an email to for information on how to be considered for a sponsored membership in the MKE Tech Hub Coalition and/or the MKE K-12 Computing Alliance.  

Didn’t find what you were looking for?  Send your suggestions to (STEM Forward Content) or (MKE Tech Hub Coalition) and we’ll find the right way to incorporate it.

2020 Social Media Kit

2019 Resources and Results

To download our 2019 Media Kit, click here. To see our 2019 results, read our press release here.

I'm not a technologist and I don't know about coding – can I still volunteer?

Yes, absolutely! and Code with Google have many self-guided, turnkey tutorials that you can use right off-the-shelf. They also have how-to guides to help you practice teaching the activities. All you have to do is pick one and pick your time to volunteer. There are options for all ages and experience levels. For younger students, check out this program, which has a fun basketball activity called “Make a Basket”. Watch this SHARP Literacy and Marquette Golden Eagles Video, and then perform the activity together!


  • I plan to participate, but I don’t know what I’m doing for an activity yet. Should I still fill out the form?
    Yes. If you plan to participate, please fill out the form to register. We will be following up with you throughout the planning process, and we can get more details from you as you have them.
  • Do I need to be a technologist or know about code to volunteer?
    No! and Code with Google have many self-guided, off-the-shelf, turnkey tutorials that you can use. All you have to do is pick one and pick your time to volunteer. There are options for all ages and experience levels. 
  • What if we don’t have computers for every student?
    There are activities that work on all types of devices, and there are some that require no computer at all. If you have limited devices, encourage students to work in pairs or do the activity all together on a projector screen or SMARTBoard. 
  • Can volunteering happen virtually?
    Yes! We believe that most MKE Hour of Code activities this year will happen virtually, and we are providing a virtual toolkit to help in the planning process. 
  • How much time will I need to commit if I want to participate?
    That’s totally up to you! Your participation can be as big or as small as you’d like. You could simply encourage all of your employees to do an Hour of Code with their own children. You could host one company-wide MKE Hour of Code activity and invite all of your employee’s children to participate. You could have a select number of volunteers engage with one classroom for one hour. Or, you could work with a teacher or whole school for an entire day or week. The amount of volunteers and time you want to allocate is entirely up to you! The important thing is that you participate.
  • Can educators, adult learners and other non-student groups also participate? What counts as an Hour of Code? Are there specific parameters?
    Yes! We want to be as inclusive as possible to all types of participation. If you have an idea in mind and aren’t sure if your activity counts, email

About the MKE Tech Hub Coalition

The primary goal of the MKE Tech Hub Coalition is to double the tech workforce in southeastern Wisconsin by 2025. This will enable us to fulfill the tech talent requirements of employers as well as drive economic success and innovation in the region.

To achieve this bold milestone, we’re harnessing the power of companies, entrepreneurs, educators, community organizations and other area stakeholders to join forces around our key initiatives.  This includes K-20 strategies that reflect a value for the future role of our existing student population in the #MKETech ecosystem.

About NEWaukee

For the third year, NEWaukee is proud to power Milwaukee’s Hour of Code.

NEWaukee is an engagement agency that works with organizations to design & build new, transformational experiences. Learn more at

About and Hour of Code is a 501c3 public non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Its vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer programming. After launching in 2013, organized the Hour of Code campaign – which has introduced over 100 million students to computer science to date – and partnered with 70 public school districts nationwide to expand computer science programs. is supported by philanthropic donations from corporations, foundations and generous individuals, including Microsoft, Facebook, Infosys Foundation USA, Amazon, and others. For more information, please visit:

MKE Hour of Code

12:00AM - 11:59PM

Monday, December 7, 2020

Sign Up: Free