December 2, 2019 / Vincennes University promotes computer science for all with coding event
VINCENNES, Ind. - The Vincennes University Information Technology Department is hosting 130 fifth-grade students from the South Gibson School Corporation for an Hour of Code event on Dec. 5 at VU’s Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch, Indiana.
Part of a nationwide campaign, this marks the sixth year Vincennes University has organized an Hour of Code event in conjunction with Code.org.
Vincennes University Information Technology Department Chair Jaci Lederman read about Code.org and Hour of Code events in Wired Magazine six years ago. She instantly began taking the event one step further by incorporating the event into project-based learning for her IT students. For the event, Lederman’s IT students apply skills gained from completing a class in Project Management to plan and execute the day’s activities.
The South Gibson students will interact with VU IT students and VU IT Visiting Professor Newton Lee, a former senior producer and lead engineer at The Walt Disney Company. Lee specializes in game design and artificial intelligence.
In addition to computer science, the event will engage the fifth-grade students with multiple examples of technology including, logic activities, coding, video game creation, Internet of Things (IoT), Lego bots, and cyber security safety.
According to Code.org, computer science drives innovation throughout the U.S. economy, but it remains marginalized throughout K-12 education. Nineteen states have adopted a policy to give all high school students access to computer science courses. Of those states, only eight give all K-12 students access. There are 484,452 open computing jobs nationwide and 61,642 computer science students graduated into the workforce last year.
"This event is an excellent opportunity to give back to the community,” Lederman said. “College students are given the opportunity to inspire fifth-grade students by teaching them about various types of technologies within the Information Technology profession.”
Vincennes University offers seven associate degrees, including a degree in Computer Science, as well as two Information Technology concentration Bachelor of Science Degrees. For more information, visit www.vinu.edu/infotech.
Information Technology Department Chair/Associate Professor
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College
VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers, and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch. A leader in developing Early Colleges statewide, VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.
In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.
VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21 other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.
Vincennes University Newsroom
MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
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VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom