For the second time in three years, Morenci students had the opportunity to learn computer coding earlier this month.
Two years ago, in the inaugural Hour of Code event, local high school students joined in with millions of others around the globe to spend some time with coding.
This year it was younger students who took the plunge, from kindergarten up through seventh grade—along a few curious adults.
The organizers of the Hour of Code point out the reason for the project: There’s a lack of computer education in American schools and there’s a lack of skilled American workers to fill the ranks in computer-related jobs.
In Michigan, for example, there are an estimated 17,000 unfilled computing jobs and only 1,500 computer science graduates earning degrees. In Ohio the situation is even more dire. The only solution is to hire more workers from other countries who do have the skills.
The Hour of Code is designed to give students a taste of the work, hoping to whet their appetite for more. As Pres. Obama has told youngsters, don’t just use apps on your phone, design your own.
The Morenci school staff members who organized the two experiences deserve praise for having the insight to look toward the future.