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UTRGV Continuing Education launching CLUB CODE RGV to help develop computer scientists

McALLEN, Texas – SEPT. 9, 2015 – The Office of Continuing Education at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is launching Club Code RGV this month, in partnership with four area school districts.

Club Code RGV equips educators with teaching techniques that help establish elementary and middle school campus technology clubs. Dalinda Gonzalez Alcantar and Marcos Silva are educators, co-founders of Border Kids Code and alumni of UT Pan American (a UTRGV legacy institution). They are the two main instructors for the program and will work closely with teachers to help establish Club Code programs.

The primary goal of this pilot program is to increase exposure and interest in STEM-related careers and to create young technology enthusiasts in the South Texas border region.

The program consists of three main phases:

  • Professional development for selected teachers. This initial phase is 20 hours of professional development delivered to teachers from partnering school districts via face-to-face and online formats. It is designed to provide the necessary knowledge and resources to establish Club Codes at their respective campuses.
  • Club Code implementation.
  • And a year-end project competition for all Club Code campuses.

“Club Code RGV is designed to empower and motivate teachers in elementary and middle school to help build the excitement in computer science among their students,” said Jayshree Bhat, director of Continuing Education. “We hope their interest will develop into a passion for the field of computer science, and eventually build a pipeline of students choosing to major in STEM-related fields when they enter post-secondary education.”

Campus Club Code Programs will then be given the opportunity to compete in monthly computer science coding challenges, where they will use their skills to create projects and compete against other districts. School districts participating in the pilot Club Code RGV program include McAllen, Weslaco, Edinburg and PSJA.

The professional development classes will be held at the UTRGV McAllen Teaching Site, home of the Office of Continuing Education, spread out over several months to be able to provide ongoing support to teachers who will be establishing Club Codes at their respective campuses.

The UTRGV U-teach program will support Club Code RGV by offering paid internships to several student teachers, who will help teachers establish Club Codes at their campuses.

?“McAllen ISD is elated to be part of UTRGV’s exciting, cutting-edge approach to expand on teaching coding to our students. With technology such a critical component in today’s learning environment, educators need to continually grow their knowledge-base and skill sets. This is particularly important in the STEM-heavy fields, which offer our graduates wonderful new opportunities” said J. Ann Vega, director of Instructional Technology at McAllen ISD.

The year-end coding competition will be organized by UTRGV Continuing Education in partnership with local and national technology partners in April 2016. The competition will offer cool technology prizes for student winners, teachers and the corresponding campuses.

UTRGV’s Office of Continuing Education (OCE) extends the education resources of the university to best meet the learning needs of the Rio Grande Valley. For more information about Club Code RGV, contact the office at (956) 665-2071.


MEDIA CONTACTS

Marci.Caltabiano@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications
956-665-2742

Jennifer.McGehee@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Director of Public Relations
956-882-5105