Photo courtesy of Dallas ISD

Special to The Dallas Examiner

One of Dallas ISD’s goals is to prepare students to have the computational skills needed for the future workplace and the increasing reliance on digital technology. With this goal in mind, at the end of last year, thousands of students and teachers took part in the 2022 Computer Science Education Week.

During this weeklong event, which took place at different locations and participants had the opportunity to engage in activities and training to learn about the exciting field of computer science and prepare for success in the 21st century.

“Exposing students to computational thinking early on lets them see career possibilities in every field, including IT,” said Jeff Marx, director of Dallas ISD’s Computer Science and Technology department.

On Monday, 250 students from Dr. Frederick Douglass Todd Middle School, Judge Louis A. Bedford Law Academy, Billy Earl Dade Middle School, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III Global Preparatory Academy at Paul Quinn College, and Raul Quintanilla Sr. Middle School visited Microsoft’s campus in Irving to attend a coding workshop. As part of the visit, students learned how to program using the game Minecraft and participated in a coding challenge judged by Microsoft engineers, which students from Dade ultimately won.

On Tuesday, VEX Robotics visited classrooms at Casa View Elementary, STAG at Pleasant Grove and Alex Sanger Preparatory. The team led early learners in hands-on coding activities using robotic devices. Some of the students then designed their own rockets using advanced robotics kits.

On Wednesday, teachers from 31 middle school campuses attended the Microsoft Educator Academy certification training at the company’s Irving campus. Each of these educators earned a certificate in Microsoft productivity tools.

On Friday, Microsoft and BootUP PD led over 5,000 students in an “Hour of Code.” The goal of this virtual event was to help demystify the code inside a computer.

The week wrapped up on Saturday with over 700 K-8 students competing in multiple robotics events, including First Lego Explore, First Lego Challenge, and VEX IQ Competition.

“As society continues to increase its reliance on digital technology, it is essential for students to have the computational skills needed for the future,” Marx said. “Our partnerships with companies like Microsoft and Amazon lay the foundation for our youngest learners to become digital creators and problem solvers.”

Mollie Finch Belt is the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Dallas Examiner. She attended elementary school in Tuskegee, Ala.; Cambridge, Mass.; and Dallas, Texas. In 1961, she graduated from...

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