Crowder College sponsoring youth coding teams through grant

Dec. 26—NEOSHO, Mo. — Crowder College has used a $450,000 Catalyze grant received late last year to support Youth Coding League teams and develop digital talent across the region.

“The grant opportunity from Catalyze provided an opportunity to help develop in-demand digital skills in rural communities and schools throughout Southwest Missouri,” said Chett Daniel, interim vice president of academic affairs, in a statement. “Students in grades 5-8 are developing skills and confidence in software development, and Crowder is working to develop career pathways for students in a variety of jobs in the growing digital economy. It’s exciting to see so many area rural schools thriving with this grant opportunity.”

Through a partnership with Cape Girardeau-based representatives of Codefi, Crowder sponsored Youth Coding League teams in Joplin, Carthage, Cassville, Lamar, Liberal, Neosho, Noel and Webb City. The Youth Coding League, operated by the Codefi Foundation on Rural Innovation, is a competitive team sport designed to teach middle school and junior high students how to code.

“The Youth Coding League has been a great opportunity for Cassville students to learn to code and compete for prizes,” said Jamie Pearman, Cassville Intermediate coach, in a statement. “It has been a learning experience for me as well as the student coders, but it has been incredibly fun to bond with the coders and watch them grow throughout this competitive season.”

The STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — are expected to be some of the fastest-growing industries with the highest-paid careers, making the Youth Coding League an important opportunity for area schoolchildren, said Stacy Dohogne Lane, the league’s director.

“We love seeing what students have learned and built this season, and can’t wait to see their skill sets strengthen this spring,” Dohogne Lane said in a statement. “Someday those new skill sets will have big impacts on their local communities, and we hope to support these young coders and their school communities for years to come as they develop and apply their knowledge in computer science and coding.”

There are spots available in the spring semester for teams fully supported by Crowder College. Contact for more details.

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