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Council Bluffs students join millions in computer coding movement

Posted at 4:12 PM, Dec 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 08:33:37-05

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA (KMTV) — The U.S. Department of Labor estimates by 2020 there will be more than 1.4-million computing-related job openings.

But, people graduating from college with these kinds of degrees only fill about 30-percent of the jobs.

Schools and businesses are partnering together for “Hour of Code” a world-wide movement to expose children to coding. 100-million students from around the world are expected to participate.

Students chose from a variety of different coding programs to work on from the Hour of Code website. They have programs geared towards all ages and interests.

Haylee Sales is an eighth-grade student at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Already, she's been working with computer coding for a couple of years.

“On this program (Mine Craft) I like to build things and see exactly what I can do with the resources they're giving you,” Sales said.

Practicing coding an is opportunity not every student gets.

“Only 65-percent of schools in the nation teach computer science,” Tony Veland, Director of Business Development, AIM Institute said. “So it’s time for us to catch up with the 21st century.”

1,000 students, in Council Bluffs alone Monday, worked on coding basics.

“Students who engage in technology,” Kim Kazmierczak, Woodrow Wilson Middle School Principal said. “It activates the parts of their brain that helps them communicate. Helps them become much more analytical and strategic thinkers. Whether or not they are coding experts. It’s going to help their brain develop.”

“It's important to have a broad set of skills,” Zach Scherb, Woodrow Wilson Middle School Science Teacher said. “So whatever job path or career they go into they feel comfortable to prepared to go to. Hour of Code is a good way for them to experience activities.”

Sales still has four years before she begins applying to college. She is interested in many different things; but is grateful for exposure to the world of coding.

“It’s giving me an idea of what the field might be and what I can do with the opportunities,” Sales said.

Opportunities that are sure to grow, as she does.