Asheboro City Schools, Randolph County Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are among the 15 school districts sharing $400,000 in Coding and Mobile Development Grants.

Asheboro City Schools, which received $28,900 of the fund, will be using their grant to implement more advanced coding and programming courses for their students and bringing in newer technological equipment.

Anthony Woodyard, Director of Technology and Innovation for Asheboro City Schools, says that one of the most important things about this grant is the impact it will make on student’s futures.

“Coding, of course, is a career that’s growing, that’s the career of the future and some of those job options that are available to our students, we’re not even aware of what those job options are right now,” Woodyard said. “But any interest we can get among our students starting in middle school will follow then to a future career.

In Lynda O’Briant’s Computer Programming class, students learn the basics of code, but thanks to this grant, a more advanced version of the class will be added, plus an AP Computer Science for students who wish to pursue the field.

Two students are already certain this will be the track they will follow: ninth graders Daniel Botchway and Sarah Barber.

“My favorite part is when you’re doing the coding, every little part matters,” Botchway said about why he loves his programming class. “You get a satisfaction from actually completing the program and then watching it work like clockwork.”

Barber, one of the three females in the class, says coding and programming has always been her thing coming from a family with a programmer dad.

“I like the idea of entertaining people with coding,” she says after mentioning “modding” videogames as the reason for taking the coding class.

A 3D printer and fully equipped computer and design lab are part of the features students who take programming or design can look forward to using.

Randolph County Schools received $10,000 and will be distributing the funds among the schools, primarily Uwharrie River Six-Twelve, which just recently added Coding as part of its course offerings.

Nathan Walker, who teaches Multimedia and Game Discoveries at the school, says one of the school’s goals with the funds received will be to expand the curriculum and motivate more diversity in the classrooms.

“I think as more people get involved with it, they won’t be as scared or concerned about how to program and they will say, “Hey, this is actually something I can do when I get out of high school and college and make a good salary,”” Walker said.

The grant will allow Uwharrie to have something to offer that other schools may not have, like its 1-on-1 approach in its use of technology, particularly computers for each of its students.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools received $28,000 out of the $400,000 in Coding Grants to help schools develop computer science, coding and mobile app development initiatives for middle and high schoolers.

According to North Carolina Public Schools, districts and schools will implement their programs this spring. A new wave of applications for the next Coding and Mobile App Development grant cycle will be available online March 15, 2018. Grant recipients will be announced in the summer and will implement their programs in the fall.

The districts receiving grant awards are:

  • Asheboro City Schools: $28,900
  • Asheville Buncombe Madison Career Pathways Consortium: $40,000
  • Cumberland County Schools: $27,500
  • Dare County Schools: $25,000
  • Lenoir County Schools: $36,160
  • North East Carolina Preparatory School (Edgecombe County Charter School): $36,000
  • Perquimans County Schools: $22,500
  • Randolph County School System: $10,000
  • Rowan-Salisbury Schools: $36,000
  • Rutherford County Schools: $38,100
  • Union County Public Schools (Porter Ridge Middle and Porter Ride High): $39,992
  • Wake County Schools (Fuquay-Varina Middle and Fuquay-Varina High): $31,081
  • Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools: $28,000

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