New computer science program helps prepare students for future STEM jobs

Code To The Future program offered in two Seminole County schools

By Bridgett Ellison - Anchor

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A new computer science program is helping students develop skills that strengthen their performance in all their coursework and prepares them for the future.

Code To The Future is a computer science immersion program new to two Seminole County schools. We went to Altamonte Elementary to see it in action.

"She's really accelerating. It helps her with math, reading, it's helping her with every academic area. It's amazing," Tymira, mother to second-grader London, said.

Parents like Tymira say they're excited about the Code To The Future program happening in her daughter's school. The students are showing off what they've learned in three Epic Build Showcase presentations.

"They will be working with Lego robots and bricks, doing some very specific coding and building in our next cycle. In our final cycle, the third cycle, they'll be working in Minecraft and fourth-and fifth-graders will be doing Java," Principal Pam Gamble explained.

Educators say the California-based computer science curriculum is the first of its kind designed to be used in conjunction with reading, math and science in the classroom.

"This is amazing for developing critical thinking, logic skills, we'll see this translate over to the classroom. See kids apply those skills in their academic areas," Gamble said.

Parents and teachers say they're hoping this gets results for not only their students' classroom performance, but their future career paths.

"They're starting this now, imagine when they're our age or older. They're going to have such way a better chance of getting a job," Tymira, London's mother, said.

"It's absolutely amazing and a remarkable opportunity for our kids. They are going to fill so many jobs in the computer science field by the time they graduate high school. This just gives them a leg up," Gamble said.

Only two schools in Florida are using the curriculum. Altamonte and Pine Crest Elementary Schools are considered lighthouse schools for the state. Students will hold two more showcases of their progress in January and March 2018.

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