BY Jennifer L. Berghom
Hundreds of elementary and middle school students will show off their computer coding skills for a chance at winning cool technology prizes during the Club Code Summit 2016, hosted by The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
The event, to be held on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus in the Health and Physical Education Building II, is the culmination of several months of learning how to create computer programs through a UTRGV Continuing Education initiative called Club Code UTRGV.
Last fall, 60 elementary and middle school teachers from four area school districts — Edinburg, McAllen, Weslaco and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo – received training from instructors at UTRGV Continuing Education on how to code and establish coding clubs at their respective campuses. Those teachers then created after-school programs where more than 800 students learned to write computer programs to create apps, using free available programming languages like MIT Scratch.
Club Code Summit 2016 is open to students who have been involved in the Club Code programs at participating schools, as well as to the teachers who manage the clubs, school administrators and parents. At the event, students will present their work and compete for prizes.
“We are very excited about showcasing the work of these young minds and to build on the enthusiasm that Club Code teachers and students have shared through the implementation phase,” said Jayshree Bhat, director of Continuing Education for UTRGV. “This gives us hope that the Rio Grande Valley, which has a young population, will be poised to move with technology with the help of these future coders.”
The summit will include presentations by young technology pioneers from the Valley who have made national news, technology fairs and door prizes.
The cost to have an exhibit at the event is $200. Sponsorships are also available, and those interested in sponsoring the event can fill out this form at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sponsor-registration-club-code-utrgv-summit-2016-tickets-22498713257.