Virginia Advanced Study Strategies (VASS) will be offering a special program this fall, The Computer Coding Project, to introduce middle and high school students in southern Virginia to the important skill of software application development. Proficiency in computer science, particularly tablet app development, is one of the most demanded skills in the workforce today. Students with these skills are recruited for jobs with great pay and benefits. This project is a wonderful introduction to computer science.
The Project: Students who are interested in participating in the project will be given access to TeamTreehouse or Codecademy app development software. Both of these programs take a student step-by-step through the components of creating app development code. The program selected can be accessed from any computer that is connected to the internet with a high-speed connection. The student will also be provided a computer software mentor from the local area. Each student will have the fall semester to complete development of an app. At the end of the semester, the apps will be tested by a regional group of experts. The student who successfully builds a working app will be given an Android-based tablet and given an opportunity for their app to be considered for market use.
The Areas: VASS is working with middle and high schools in various areas around Virginia. To date schools in southern Virginia, Pulaski, Charlottesville, and Richmond have expressed interest.
The Purpose: Communities throughout Virginia are working to attract high-tech business in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, energy and other areas to the region. These jobs require employees with software coding skills. Research shows that the best software developers were introduced to these skills early in their K12 education. This program is intended to introduce middle school and high school students to marketable skills that coincide with the interest they may already have in video games, social media, or music and video files. Ultimately VASS would like to work with the local schools to develop computer science classes so that Virginia can build a large cadre of highly skilled technology employees. These students could become the foundation cadre of students in newly developed computer science classes. VASS provides training to teachers preparing to teach AP computer science, principals and AP computer science classes.
Please take a look at this website and the video about why coding is so important. There are wonderful quotes from some very prominent people of all walks of life. All students who are involved in the coding competition need to see this: http://code.org/