For those of you who haven’t heard, Computer Science Education Week kicks runs through Sunday and the potential impact of this campaign is significant for local, state and national business communities.
Because the more we advance computer literacy and education among our young people, the better the odds for greater technological achievements by future generations. And the wonderful news for Tennesseans is that there are myriad events across the state being held in conjunction with Code.org’s “Hour of Code” promotion. There will even be one in Memphis.
TN Code Academy, Launch Tennessee and the Tennessee STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Innovation Network are organizing these Hour of Code gatherings to encourage young people to get creative and have fun while learning computer programming. This is step in the right direction and reminds me of an observation made by native Memphian Sarah Lacy — entrepreneur and founder of online media site PandoDaily — when she was the keynote speaker at a program held here in 2011.
“Every school in Memphis should be offering classes in coding,” Lacy said at the time. “You can teach a young person how to use this technology to create an app or apply it in other ways. That’s just as important in today’s global market as any other subject.”
Apt words then, which appear even more prophetic now.
The local Hour of Code event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday at the University of Memphis. The school’s computer science department will host free workshops on how to create video games, program Lego robots, discuss basic programming and careers in computer science and information technology. To register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another technology-related offering will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the MidsouthMakers office, 2804 Bartlett Road Suite 2. Sponsored by the Memphis Web Workers User Group, the free meeting will offer an evening of networking and sharing with like-minded computer folks. More than two dozen have already signed up to attend, so if you’re interested you’ll want to go ahead and add your name to the list so that organizers will know how much pizza and soft drinks to provide. To learn more, visit meetup.com/memphis-technology-user-groups.
And for creative types who are looking for a little bit of holiday cheer, there are a couple events on Thursday that should fit the bill.
The Sales and Marketing Society of the Mid-South hosts its seventh annual Mix, Mingle and Jingle fund raiser to benefit Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center and the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. The program will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the L Ross Gallery, 5040 Sanderlin. Admission includes refreshments and is $10 for members and $15 for guests who pay online and $20 for guests who pay at the door. Attendees are asked to bring one new, unwrapped Teddy Bear and the toys will be delivered to youngsters at the two benefiting organizations. To learn more, visit sms-midsouth.org.
From 7 to 10 p.m., the local chapter of AIGA hosts its annual holiday party at Tamp & Tap, 122 Gayoso. Admission, which includes refreshments, is $12 for members and $15 for guests. To add your name to the list, visit memphis.aiga.org.