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CareerTech Code Camp introduces students to coding and more

CareerTech Code Camp introduces students to coding and more

Kelley McCall, trainer and principal at Graber Elementary School in Hutchinson, Kansas, shows students how to create a line of computer code.

July 6, 2016

A group of Oklahoma students did more than learn about coding recently at Oklahoma CareerTech’s Code Camp.

The camp, hosted by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, brought students from several Oklahoma school districts to Metro Technology Centers in Oklahoma City. The students learned basic principles of coding through hands-on activities and also learned about nontraditional careers.

“Code Camp provides students an opportunity to learn about coding and to learn about nontraditional careers,” said Jeremy Zweiacker, nontraditional coordinator at ODCTE. “We provide them an opportunity to be introduced to coding and hear from speakers who are nontraditional in their career choices, and we are showing students that they can be anything they want to be no matter what tradition tells them.”  

The camp started with an introduction to block coding on code.org. Students learned basic principles by building gumdrop and toothpick structures, writing instructions for paper airplane design and running relay races while creating lines of code. Students earned a certificate for completing modules or the Hour of Code, and they had the opportunity to learn how to program simple games and robots.

Oklahoma CareerTech conducted the two-day camp in partnership with Kelley McCall, a principal at Graber Elementary School in Hutchinson, Kansas.

“I believe that learning code is the gateway to all things in computer science. Considering there are over 2,300 open computing jobs in Oklahoma and only 400 computer science graduates, this is a job market our students should know more about,” McCall said. “As a teacher, I believe that students who learn code get to practice soft skills that will help them in all subject areas.”

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 390 comprehensive school districts, 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 30 Adult Basic Education sites.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

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