UTRGV Continuing Education hosts second annual Club Code Summit, in Brownsville

UTRGV Continuing Education hosted its second annual Club Code UTRGV Summit on April 1, for the first time on the Brownsville Campus. This year’s event hosted more than 400 students, Club Code sponsor teachers, administrators and parents for a day of learning, and fun interactive games and activities. (UTRGV Photo)

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – APRIL 1, 2017 – UTRGV Continuing Education hosted the second annual Club Code UTRGV summit, Saturday, April 1, on the Brownsville Campus.

The 2017 summit is the culmination of months of training and practice by Brownsville ISD fourth- and fifth-grade students involved in on-campus coding clubs established with the help of Continuing Education’s Club Code UTRGV program.

Club Code UTRGV is the first program of its kind in the Valley and includes 20 hours of training spread over four months, to teach elementary and middle school teachers about coding and establish after-school coding clubs. Club activities include campus- and district-wide coding challenges to create games, interactive stories and animations using free programming languages such as MIT Scratch.

Jayshree Bhat, UTRGV director of Continuing Education, launched the program in 2015 with support from the founders of Border Kids, in an effort to motivate young minds to get excited about coding through their teachers, and the afterschool coding clubs would provide fun opportunities to create games and interactive applications while learning to code.

Club activities culminate at the yearly Club Code UTRGV Summit, where elementary school students attend a day of tech games and activities and selected teams compete in a live coding challenge.

This year’s event hosted more than 400 attendees, including students, Club Code sponsor teachers, administrators and parents, in a day of fun, interactive games from local exhibitors, including Nerdvana, Teach for America, Border Kids and UTRGV Continuing Education.

While last year’s program focused primarily on school districts in the Upper Valley, this year’s event was held on the Brownsville Campus. UTRGV Continuing Education partnered exclusively with Brownsville ISD for this event, and brought coding and programming skills to elementary students and faculty across the district.

Alma Cardenas-Rubio, an administrator from the Brownsville school district, spoke at the event.

“Witnessing the excitement as BISD students participated in the UTRGV annual Coding Summit validated that coding is the new literacy we must all embrace if we are to provide students with the opportunity to compete globally,” she said.

The push to prepare students for careers in technology is hardly new. Statistics released by the White House show that STEM occupations will grow 1.7 times faster than non-STEM occupations from 2008 to 2018, and the demand for software developers will see a 22 percent increase between 2012 and 2022.

Since its inception, the Club Code UTRGV program has introduced coding and programming skills to more than 3,500 students across five Valley school districts.

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