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G.I. Students Learn Computer Code As Part of Worldwide Movement

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Ninety percent of schools don't teach computer science, but this week Grand Island Public Schools is joining a movement to change that.

Third and fourth graders at Gates and Stolley Park Elementary schools got a crash course in the subject Tuesday.

"At first I didn't have a single clue what to do, but [Ricardo] helped me and I started to get the hang of it," said Alex Hornady, a Stolley Park fourth grader.

By dragging and dropping on a computer screen, Career Pathways Institute Instructor Scott Fox said one goal is to show kids how easy it is to learn code.

"Programming isn't as complex as it looks," he said. "It's like anything you've learned. You just have to expose yourself to it."

Fox said more students are needed to do just that.

"In the near future there's going to be a big shortage of programmers out there," said Fox. "Computers are such a vital part of our everyday life that we really need young people to begin to tinker with the interworkings of the computer and how to write code to develop software to do all the things that computers do for us every day."

It's what Ricardo Juarez Rivera is doing in a rigorous first semester at the Career Pathways Institute.

By teaching others, Ricardo is learning himself.

"I didn't completely know how to teach someone else how to do the programming, but I tried my best," he said.

"It's a great experience for them to work on some of their customer support skills," said Fox.

This program wasn't available when students like Ricardo were in elementary school. He said it's an opportunity he wished he'd had.

"[I'd have] gotten a little head start," he said.

But he is giving one to students like Alex.

"I really like science and technology," Alex said.

Students worldwide are being encouraged to write code for one hour during Computer Science education week.

To learn how to code yourself, check out this website: http://learn.code.org/hoc/1.

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