Guinness World Records Computer Science Attempt in Michigan
Michigan Accelerate Computer Science celebrates National Computer Science Week by attempting to set the Guinness World Records for "Most Users To Take An Online Computer Programming Lesson Within 24 Hours" starting on Friday December 11, 2020.
DETROIT - Oct. 12, 2020 - PRLog -- In 10 years, when people want to learn about how Michiganders lived through the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic downturn, civil unrest and statewide virtual schooling and working, they'll be able to say they succeeded by working together as a community. And what says community more than setting a Guinness World Records together! On Friday, December 11, 2020, during Computer Science Education Week, the Michigan Accelerate Computer Science (MACS) collaborative will attempt to bring more than 500 participants together virtually to set the record for the title "Most users to take an online computer programming lesson within 24 hours".
In March of 2019, Thanh Tran, Executive Director of Accelerate4KIDS™ Foundation, a Detroit-based nonprofit, floated the idea of breaking the Guinness World Records for a live youth hackathon (a sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development) along with Joshua Edmonds, Detroit's Digital Inclusion Officer. That idea was placed on hold due to shifting priorities in getting access to 3000+ Chromebook for the students. In January of 2020, Thanh met with Selam Ghirmai, Director of Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Film & Digital Media Office, to plan the annual "Coding for Kids" event at the Little Caesars Arena on May 28th to promote computer science educational resources, like Google's free CS First curriculum, to Michigan youth. The pandemic, of course, brought all public gatherings and most events to a halt.
Thanh was struggling to find a way to uplift the Detroit community that he dearly admires. While his parent company, AccelerateKID®, helped the frontline workers by 3D printing face mask frames, he reached out to Brittany Carpenter, an Account Executive for Guinness World Records North America, who was living in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic. Right away, he knew that something must be done and was fortunate to be given a title that can be attempted virtually.
In June, Thanh reconnected with Selam, the MEDC team, and other organizations like Wayne State University, Detroit Public Schools Community District, WhooSaid, AcceleateKID®, and Accelerate4KIDS™ to be part of the MACS group which is supported by Google with a $10,000 sponsorship. The team worked diligently to meet deadlines and has launched the MACS website (www.miacceleratecs.com). They received their first endorsement from elected official, Congresswoman Haley Stevens of the 11th District of Michigan (https://youtu.be/y0m7ndLvut0).
Thanh believes that who we are is defined by how we handle situations, bad and good. In 10 years, he hopes Michiganders will look back and feel proud that they helped break a Guinness World Records in Michigan to overcome the pandemic, promote unity and increase access and opportunities in computer science education for everyone.