Nationwide, nine out of 10 parents want their children to learn computer science, but only one out of five schools teach computer programming. The patterns are similar here in Utah, and with the support of our incredible employee volunteers we wanted try to ignite a movement among tech companies to do something about it.

Utah’s tech companies are going bonkers for children. I mean it, they’re freaking out and teaching children everything they need to know about tech and entrepreneurship. Just look who the cat dragged into this fourth grade class:

https://twitter.com/clintbetts/status/735890759841243137/photo/1

Many Utah-based companies are getting in on the action — including Domo, Qualtrics, Women Tech Council — creating non-profit organizations and donating time/resources to help K-12 students soup up their knowledge regarding computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education. I will bet anyone $50 that there are tons of fourth grade students who know more about computer science than I do and it’s thanks to the community outreach of businesses like these.

One of these initiatives revolves around Maple Ridge Elementary School and the Do Good Foundation, a non-profit created by InsideSales. As part of the initiative, 4th-6th grade students at Maple Ridge are being taught how to code by volunteers from InsideSales, with over 500 hours donated to roughly 225 students and I will bet anyone $100 that literally all of those 225 students know more about coding than I do.

“We feel that part of the problem is rooted in the lack of computer science courses available for young children at school,” said Dave Elkington, CEO of InsideSales. “Nationwide, nine out of 10 parents want their children to learn computer science, but only one out of five schools teach computer programming. The patterns are similar here in Utah, and with the support of our incredible employee volunteers we wanted try to ignite a movement among tech companies to do something about it.”

Governor Gary Herbert recently dropped by Maple Ridge to see it all in action. Code was written, chocolate milk was punished, and at the end of the day, Utah’s next generation of computer savants took a large step forward. Now I’m going to set up a non-profit that gets children to teach adults how to code and the circle of life will be complete.

“Innovative partnerships are important to increase science, technology, engineering and math educational opportunities for Utah students,” Herbert said. “The state is fortunate to have partnerships that bring industry and education leaders together to design programs that help prepare the workforce Utah will need to sustain growth today — and tomorrow.”

Published 6/1/2016