'Hour of Coding' sparks interest in computer sciences

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Only 20 percent of females participate in computer sciences, according to the website Hour of Code. But, one Rapid City elementary school plans to up those numbers by participating in Computer Science Education Week.

Matthew Olson, SDSU 4-H program adviser for Pennington County, taught the students about NXT Lego Robots and has hopes that working with these robots will spark an interest in computer sciences.

"There is always that lack of women in those job fields. So, getting young ladies interested in doing this is definitely important, so they realize that this is a job they can do. It's not just a job for guys," said Olson.

Proving that the science and technology fields are open to anyone. Meadowbrook Elementary students took part in "Hour of Coding." This is an international effort to interest students in computer science job fields.

Ramie Krysl, Meadowbrook Elementary literacy teacher, believes that this week will inspire some students.

"This is the education of the future; coding is the education of the future, computer sciences is the education of the future," said Krysl. "As part of our strategic plan, we want individualized education to prepare them for the 21st century learning, that's what we're doing."

"It's definitely something that will be to their advantage ... they may be heading into the future with a lot more opportunities for jobs. And computer coding and engineering program design, all that stuff. So, the earlier you get started the more fluent you are in what you're doing," said Olson.

The Monday program jump started a passion among Meadowbrook students.

"When I grow up [to be] scientist, I would like to be better than the boys at science. I bet I will be because I am a lot smarter and I work a lot harder than a lot of boys in my class," said Bella Cramer, Meadowbrook third grader.

Tuesday, Corral Drive is having a "Family Coding Night," at which time students and their parents will get to take part in computer programming from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.