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Kids can program the White House's Christmas tree lights this year

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The National Park Service's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony dates back to 1923, but this year it's getting a software update. Google's Made with Code Holiday Lights project will let any kid (or adult for that matter) animate the trees at the White House's President's Park location. Programming is simple enough that almost anybody can do it (even me, see below), thanks to the Blockly visual language. But the goal is to encourage kids to play with code, especially girls -- since only one percent of female students aspire to be programmers after high school. But as Google engineer Pavni Diwanji put it, coding isn't just nerdy, it's also creative -- so if you want to encourage your kids to make their own fancy Christmas light show for the nation to see, head to Made With Code.

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