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OSSE to Celebrate Young Coders at August 18 Virtual App Showcase Following DC Can Code Summer Program

Monday, August 17, 2020

Media Contact: Fred Lewis, (202) 412-2167, [email protected]

On Tuesday, August 18, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) will spotlight and celebrate the ingenuity of DC’s aspiring computer scientists at its inaugural Virtual App Showcase, which gives rising ninth graders and high school students focused on information technology (IT) and engineering a chance to present their ideas and share their solutions with peers, families and the community.

This summer, 110 students at public and public charter schools in the District participated in DC Can Code, a virtual summer coding camp and internship designed to build awareness and excitement for high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs among middle school students entering ninth grade and current CTE IT and Engineering concentrators.

“CTE programs such as DC Can Code are aligned with high-skill, high-wage and in-demand careers, providing an invaluable experience to our students,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “Our students are gaining practical knowledge about coding and getting a chance to collaborate with like-minded peers while learning about careers in the tech industry.”

During the summer program, students learned all aspects of application development on Apple's Swift coding platform and then used that knowledge to create and prototype apps.

Rising ninth-graders could participate in a two-week program that introduced students to coding concepts and learning to code with Swift playgrounds. Students used iPads to prototype apps in small and large learning communities. The Everyone Can Code curriculum was expanded to include a host of interactive and challenging activities from Swift Playgrounds.

High school students focused on CTE IT and Engineering could participate in a six-week program connected to the Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program that included career exploration, virtual job shadowing and networking with IT industry professionals. Students also learned foundational coding concepts; leading to more advanced code concepts, and then used iPads to prototype apps in small and large virtual learning communities.

On average, students increase their entry-wage earning potential by seven-percent for each advanced CTE course taken.

In the spring, OSSE released its new CTE State Plan, which sets a bold vision for college and career programs across Washington, DC. Through the planning process, OSSE has engaged hundreds of stakeholders to develop 42 comprehensive programs of study, 107 industry-validated course-level standards to ensure appropriate task training, a rapid expansion of work-based learning opportunities for students and Industry Recognized Credentials and/or college credit for each program of study.

The DC Can Code Virtual App Showcase will be held online, Tuesday, Aug. 18, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Visit OSSE’s website for more information on OSSE Career and Technical Education and DC Can Code.