Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science education by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Its vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming. Code.org believes computer science should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.
Their goals include:
- Bringing Computer Science classes to every K-12 school in the United States, especially in urban and rural neighborhoods.
- Demonstrating the successful use of online curriculum in public school classrooms
- Changing policies in all 50 states to categorize C.S. as part of the math/science “core” curriculum
- Harnessing the collective power of the tech community to celebrate and grow C.S. education worldwide
- To increase the representation of women and students of color in the field of Computer Science.
Matt Guthmiller’s first solo flight on August 14th, 2011, was a quick trip around the airport in his hometown of Aberdeen, South Dakota, in a tiny, two-seat 1975 Cessna 150. But on May 31, 2014, Matt set out on a 44.5 day trip of over 30,000 miles in an attempt to become the youngest person to ever circumnavigate the globe on a solo flight. Born and raised in Aberdeen, Matt first began learning to fly at the age of 16, received his private pilot certificate on his 17th birthday, has gone on to earn his commercial pilot certificate and numerous ratings, and since logged more than 1100 hours in the air (500 when he started the trip).
“I’m always looking for new challenges and unique experiences, but this is the biggest challenge I will have conquered,” said Guthmiller before the trip. “Fewer people have flown solo around the world than have been to space.”
“Limitless Horizons” is a combination of both Guthmiller’s lifelong love of flying and his intense interest in computer science. A junior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) majoring in electrical engineering and computer science, Guthmiller is a self-taught software engineer who first began writing code in 5th grade. He started one of the very first iPhone unlocking businesses in 2007 before selling it to another company, and by high school he had moved on to producing algorithms that could predict oil prices and using supercomputers to analyze stock trades. During his senior year of high school, Guthmiller was a finalist for the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship before dropping out of that finalist round to go to MIT.
“With this flight, and with Code.org, I hope to inspire other young people to attempt things of similar magnitude by showing them what’s possible.”
Guthmiller’s plane of choice for his circumnavigation was a 1981 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, a single-engine, low-wing plane with a 300 horsepower engine, six seats, and a normal range of about 1100 nautical miles (nm). For the flight four of the six seats were removed to make room for extra fuel tanks, bringing the range up to 2800nm. For the trip, the Bonanza cruised at approximately 160 knots (185 MPH).
Guthmiller departed San Diego with the extra fuel tanks on May 31, 2014, before stopping in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He then reached New York City and St. John’s, Newfoundland, before heading out over the Atlantic. The trip itinerary also included stops in the Azores, London, Rome, Athens, Cairo, Dubai, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, New Caledonia, Fiji, American Samoa, Hawaii, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Texas. Guthmiller arrived back in San Diego July 14 before heading home to Aberdeen, SD July 25.
All proceeds from “Limitless Horizons” will be donated to Code.org, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to expanding participation in computer science education by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.