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Corridor school receives $3,500 technology award for coding efforts

Students across the state learn to code as part of Computer Science Education Week.

Iowa schools are attempting to keep pace with the growing field of computer science by teaching students coding as part of Computer Science Education Week.

Grant Wood Elementary in Iowa City is receiving a $3,500 technology award from the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council after the school showed state officials a commitment to coding during the week of December 5.

More than 250 students at the school are learning the basics of coding, and Grant Wood Elementary School's librarian Tricia Carty says she hopes the students find the experience both fun and educational.

"This gives kids a chance to see what is this industry [computer science] is about," said Carty. "Maybe they turn it into a career someday because it's a career field that there's a shortage of qualified workers for."

The United States has only 43,000 computer science graduates trained to work in the industry, with more than 500,000 available jobs.

In Iowa alone, the number of job openings eclipses 3,500, with not even 400 computer science graduates in the Hawkeye State in 2015.

Grant Wood school officials say they plan to use the $3,500 award to create a makerspace lab, which will allow students to learn more about coding. The school also intends to create an after-school club devoted to computer science endeavors.

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