Manual Career Tech Hosts CodeFest 2017

Hundreds of students from across the KCMO region explore careers in coding

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Students get hands-on experience programming mini-robots during CodeFest 2017 on Oct. 26 at Manual Career Tech. (PHOTOS BY: Ray Weikal/KCPS)

Kansas City, Oct. 27, 2017:  Kansas City Public Schools helped students program a bright future in tech careers during its CodeFest 2017 event from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26 at Manual Career and Technical Education Center, which is located at 1215 E. Truman Rd. in Kansas City, Mo.

Dr. Carol Spradling

CodeFest is organized by Manual Career Tech computer science teacher Harold Smith to help high school juniors and seniors who are interested in careers in coding. About 250 students and educators from across the region attended this year’s CodeFest, including those from KCPS, Center High School, Olathe Public Schools, Lee’s Summit High School, Lee’s Summit North High School, Fayette High School, St. Michael the Archangel, Rockhurst High School, Lex-La-Ray Technical Center and Frontier STEM High School.

CodeFest 2017 featured a keynote address by Dr. Carol Spradling, a professor of computer science at Northwest Missouri State University. She pointed out that very few tech workers are women or people of color, and she encouraged the students to go into coding careers.

Participants also attended breakout sessions led by experts and focused on topics like diversity in technology careers, life as a software engineer and how to prepare to study computer science in college. The event culminated in an exhibition hall where students tried hands-on activities and connected with colleges, internship opportunities and tech start-up leaders.

“This field is growing, and great jobs are to be had; however, there is a huge gap between students who have the knowledge and skill to fulfill the positions and the positions that are available,” Manual Career Tech Assistant Director Angela Rainey said. “We want to let people know we are working hard as a school system to close this gap and to produce students who are ready to succeed in these tech careers.”

Visit the KCPS Flickr site to view more photos.

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