Crown Heights

Google Roadshow is a hit at Brooklyn’s P.S. 375

October 10, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Students discover the basics of coding under Google’s CS First program. Photos courtesy of Google

Doug Cutting, the co-founder of the software development company Apache Hadoop, was speaking at a conference for technology entrepreneurs in London four years ago when he made a momentous observation about Google.

“Google is living a few years in the future and sending the rest of us messages,” Cutting told the audience at that 2013 conference.

But if Google, the internet giant that has experimented with computerized eyeglasses, driverless cars and other inventions, is providing a map to the future, then the company also apparently wants to make sure take today’s kids are an important  part of that future.

The company sent a team to P.S. 375, the Jackie Robinson School in Crown Heights, on Oct. 6 to present the CS First Roadshow, a presentation of a new computer science curriculum it developed to encourage elementary and middle school students to enjoy the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

CS stands for computer science.

“Kids are exposed to technology at such an early age, but don’t necessarily get to learn about why computer science should be an important part of their lives, both now and in the future,” Google spokesman Alex Sanchez said. “We want the next generation of students to be able to create technology, not just consume it.” 

The CS First Roadshow, which seeks to teach students about the importance of STEM education, uses interactive activities to show kids the basics of computer coding. The goal of the presentation, according to Google, is to encourage students to develop an interest in computer science and to enhance their problem-solving skills and technical coding abilities.

Two Google employees delivered the hourlong presentation, which focused on teaching students both problem-solving and technical coding skills through a series of interactive activities. The Google experts also offered real-life examples of how coding and STEM education can lead to educational opportunities and exciting careers.

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Central Brooklyn), who participated in the Google presentation at P.S. 375, said it’s important for children to learn about computer science at an early age.

“STEM education is vital to our future; the future of our country, our region and Brooklyn,” Clarke said in a statement. “Growing industries in science and technology are looking for future leaders to employ, having twice as many openings as Americans to fill those positions. Getting students from P.S. 375 engaged and energized early in life will set them up to fill those positions in the future.” 

Clarke couldn’t resist getting in on the fun lesson. She helped the students as they built stories using Scratch, an introductory coding tool.


For more information about the CS First Roadshow program, visit cs-first.com.

 

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