Connor Learns to Code

Connor working

Connor H.,15, understands that computer science is the future. “Most future jobs are going to revolve around the use of robotics and the skills you learn from building and making them.”  

As a member of the rural Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club, Connor has been interested in computers, robotics, and coding since age 11. As an aspiring engineer, his favorite part about computer science is being able to express himself through the things he makes.  
 
Connor, an Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year finalist, now transfers his valuable knowledge and skills to younger children at his Club as a part-time STEM teacher. Connor enjoys teaching computer programming through Scratch, part of the Boys & Girls Clubs Computer Science Pathway, a series of programs that meet Club youth and staff at respective levels of ability, from coding basics to app development. He believes it’s a great introduction to coding and to understanding how computational thinking and problem solving are essential skills needed to become future ready.
 
Microsoft partners with Boys & Girls Clubs to support kids like Connor, to increase equitable participation in computer science, igniting interest in computing and building the skills necessary for a tech-advanced world. Defined by Code.org as “using the power of computers to solve problems,” computer science builds core competencies applicable to any career, including problem-solving, innovation and creativity. With over 500,000 current openings, computing jobs are the #1 source of new wages in the US. However, less than half of all US schools offer computer science classes.

Rates of access and participation in computer science are lower for girls, individuals living in low-income and rural communities and for select racial and ethnic groups. This unequal access limits young people’s career prospects across most industries because computers are commonplace in nearly all workplaces. Microsoft’s support in rural communities ensures kids like Connor can realize their full potential by introducing youth to computer science activities and sparking interest in related careers.  

“Some Club members do not have a computer at home. The Club gives them the access to both hardware and software to learn a new skill or craft. We have many manufacturing and tech companies in our area who are constantly hiring and looking for a talented workforce,” said Don Crouch, Resource Development & Marketing Officer with the Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club. “Computer science offers so many career opportunities and many of these positions offer exceptional starting salaries, growth opportunities and are projected to grow 16% in the next decade.”  

The partnership brings engaging computer science education experiences to children and teenagers who need it most to ensure all young people have a chance to build the technical skills needed for the modern-day workplace. Kids like Connor demonstrate technology’s power to fuel great futures.

To learn more about computer science education Initiatives at Boys & Girls Clubs, please visit BGCA.org/programs/education.

Ways to Give – Help bring computer science to more kids!  

December 9-15 is Computer Science Education Week. Led by Code.org, this annual grassroots campaign is intended to inspire interest in computer science among students from kindergarten to twelfth grade, reinforcing the vision that computer science should be a part of every school’s core curriculum alongside other STEM courses such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.