INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 16, 2014, 09:36 PM

Microsoft teams up with West Fargo High in computer education program

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - You would think with tech giants like the local Microsoft Campus and NDSU's Technology Park so close to home, high school students would be scrambling to take the Computer Science Advanced Placement test.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - You would think with tech giants like the local Microsoft Campus and NDSU's Technology Park so close to home, high school students would be scrambling to take the Computer Science Advanced Placement test.

Last year, just eight students took the test....Eight. That number is one reason volunteers from Microsoft are taking a new project into our local classrooms.

Not long after the sun was up this morning, Microsoft's Dan Hoeger wasn't at work - Today, Dan Hoeger the volunteer came to West Fargo High School's Intro to Computer Science class.

Dan Hoeger/Microsoft-TEALS Volunteer: “I would like you all to create a block like this and then show it to either Mr. Evans or myself, and we can check you out for your assignment today.”

It is all part of something called the TEALS program: Technology Education and Literacy in Schools.

Dan Hoeger: “One of the reasons Microsoft is encouraging us to do this is to get some of these students interested in programming so our pool of applicants will be better down the road.”

Today Hoeger worked alongside the teacher, and students like Aaron Hust and Logan Ridder, who say bringing an expert from the industry into the classroom to help team teach help team teach makes sense to them.

Aaron Hust - West Fargo Student: “It is like everything in the computer industry, the more you know the better off you are.”

What is ahead for these kids in the job market? Well, annually across the country right now there are 80,000 job openings in the computer programming industry.

Jared Kroke - West Fargo Student; “I am kind of interested in having a career in computer science, like maybe working at Microsoft. So, this is a really cool introduction for me."

Janae Helvik - West Fargo Teacher: “From last semester to this semester, I would say 85% of these kids are interested in going into computer science after high school."

This is the second year for Fargo Microsoft coming in to classrooms to assist teachers and students; Four days a week, nearly a dozen Microsoft volunteers, who know in order to grow their own company, they need technology lovers waiting in the wings.

By 2018, there will be 1.5 million Computer Science related jobs available in the U.S. and U.S. college graduates will only be able to fill 29% of them. Microsoft operates the TEALS program in 70 schools across 12 states in the country.

Tags: