Weekly Feature

2015-12-09 / Local News

Ken-Ton to collaborate with WNY STEM

The WNY STEM Hub is collaborating with local schools and businesses to observe National Computer Science Education Week from Dec. 7 to 13.

Among the local activities planned to promote coding activities and careers in computer science are eight “IT STEM Cafe” events. These lunch-hour events will be held in area schools and give students the opportunity to discuss career pathways with role models working in this field.

Free after-school workshops will also be held at the Microsoft Galleria Store and SUNY Buffalo State’s Coding for Girls workshops.

Other collaborators providing volunteers or promotional support for the week are: Computers For Children, Doolli, Harris Local Government, InfoTech WNY and Praxair. School sites for IT STEM Cafes are: The Charter School for Applied Technologies, Depew School District, East Aurora Central School District and Tonawanda City School District.

National Computer Science Education Week has been celebrated since 2010 and is sponsored by a coalition of more than 350 partner organizations. The purpose is to elevate computer science in K-12 and underscore the critical role of computer science in all careers.

The weeklong celebration is scheduled to include Rear Admiral Grace Hopper’s birthday on Dec. 9. Hopper was an American computer scientist and one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944. She invented the first compiler for a computer programming language. She died in 1992.

“We are fortunate to have a wealth of business and community resources in Western New York recognizing a sense of urgency in engaging pre-college boys and girls in an interest in coding. Schools appreciate this support,” said Michelle Kavanaugh, president of the WNY STEM Hub. “Ultimately, all students deserve an opportunity to explore coding and computer science careers. We hope this is the start of a grander effort to come.”

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