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Countdown to code camp: WVU Extension 4-H program to host innovative camp to help students learn about computer science

Two students doing a science-related activity at camp.

Today’s technology is far-reaching and changing at warp speed, and people who know how to use it to create apps, video games or software programs are in high demand. As this demand grows, so do the opportunities for West Virginia youths to get a head start for these in-demand careers by learning the basics and have fun while doing it. 

West Virginia youths will get a chance to tap into the technological future as part of Google’s “4-H Computer Science Career Pathway” program. Last year Google awarded $1.5 million to 4-H programs in 22 states, including West Virginia, to help young people learn more about this exciting field.

WVU Extension Service is using the grant to host a first-ever 4-H Code Camp at WVU Jackson’s Mill on February 23-25, 2018, to help area youths get a head start in learning these critical skills.

Middle school and high school students involved in West Virginia’s 4-H program will have an opportunity to learn technical skills, including computer programming, as well learn how to work as a team and solve problems. Over the course of the camp, students will work on fun, hands-on projects and learn how computer science is woven throughout topics such as cyber security, drones, computer animation and more.

“Technology is integral to everything we do. In just a few short years, there will be more tech jobs available than there are qualified applicants. We have such an incredible opportunity to give West Virginia youths a head start by teaching them these critical skills that are absolutely essential in today’s world,” said Jennifer Robertston-Honecker, assistant professor and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) specialist, WVU Extension Service. “We have an incredible opportunity to open the doors to possibility by providing our young people with a chance to get ahead of the game and hopefully spark their interest in this important field.”

And, students don’t have to have previous experience with coding. Courses will be offered for beginners, as well as students who may already have some knowledge of computer science.

The WVU Extension Service 4-H Code Camp is open to students grades 6 to 12 (ages 11 to 17) at a cost of $80 per person (includes lodging and food). You do not have to be a 4-H member to participate. Registration deadline is February 2, 2018. Space is limited. For more information about the camp, including registration information, visit https://extension.wvu.edu/youth-family/4h/events/code-camp .

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Contact: Tara Curtis, WVU Extension Service, 304-293-7996, tara.curtis@mail.wvu.edu