Enumclaw community event will show how students can help shape the future | Letter

There is an event happening in Enumclaw that will give our community a peek into the future.

Technology is changing our students’ future. Today’s kindergarten students were born in 2009. iPads were not yet available for sale in 2009. Digital became the standard for TV in that year. In 2009, one in 10 people of the entire world’s population became Facebook users. YouTube was just five years old at that time.

If all these technologies are only five years old, what are the possibilities for the next five years?

According to Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, there are going to be more devices than people. The mobility of the experiences is what will matter, not the mobility of the device. Technology is the exponential driver for the creation of so many new devices and the development of new ways to access information from these devices. Coding is the heart of technology.

On Feb. 12, the Enumclaw Schools Foundation, in partnership with the Enumclaw School District, will present the third annual STEM Expo where kids can learn about job skills that will help change their future. “The Road to Code” is the theme for this year’s Expo. Businesses will showcase with hands-on displays of the tools they use in the workplace. Students will exhibit with hands-on projects from lessons they are learning in the classroom. Classrooms and businesses will share how the use of technology will change the future.

The ESD is one of 11 districts in Washington state chosen to partner with Code.org, which has brought a new computer programming curriculum and staff training to our district.  Hadi Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, answers the question why students need to learn computer science. “Not all students need to become engineers; just like they don’t all need to be chemists, biologists or mathematicians. All our children, however, need access to the basics. Every student learns how to dissect a frog, how electricity works and what H2O means. Today, it is equally important to learn how to ‘dissect an app’, how the Internet works or what HTTP means. This foundational knowledge will be increasingly important in medicine, law, journalism, business, accounting, politics, etc. Computer science helps students develop creativity, confidence and problem-solving.”

The ESF will host Mona Akmal, director of Product for Code.org, as their guest for the day. The Code.org vision is for every student in every school to have the opportunity to learn computer science.

The STEM Expo will be held at the Enumclaw Expo Center, in the Exhibit Hall, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Our new and larger venue will be a great space to wander, explore, experiment and discover how our students will be able to change our future.

Cathy Fallen-Mathews