Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Junior Achievement to offer high school STEAM program

An image of computer programming
Credit: Pixabay

DALLAS, Pa. — Ninth and tenth grade students in Luzerne County can learn the basics of computer programming for free through the Keystone Coding and Careers initiative (formerly known as “Coding the Coal Region”) this spring. Courses will be offered virtually Mondays and Wednesdays from March 4 to April 15, from 6 to 7:15 p.m. via Zoom.

Through the collaboration between Penn State Wilkes-Barre and Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Keystone Coding and Careers (KCC) provides high school students in Luzerne County with the opportunity to learn computer science and explore STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) careers with a focus on developing an entrepreneurial mindset. Taught by Penn State professors, KCC courses introduce students to the program Python, through which they learn basic coding skills and how programs are developed before moving on to more advanced concepts. Guest speakers will also bring real-world experiences to the sessions.

“Students who enjoy technology will learn how to turn their interests into viable career paths,” said Susan Magnotta, president of Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Penn State Wilkes-Barre and Junior Achievement’s partnership on KCC showcases the focus both organizations have on educating and empowering students on their journeys toward future careers.”

“The initiative opens the doors to STEAM careers for students, supporting the ultimate goal of KCC: to enhance our region’s ability to supply the necessary workforce needed for current jobs and jobs of the future,” said Jane Ashton, director of continuing education at Penn State Wilkes-Barre.

Students interested in registering for the spring session must be Luzerne County residents in grades 9 or 10. The first 20 students who register will be accepted into the spring cohort. Students do not need to have existing programming skills to participate. Parents or legal guardians must register their students on Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Continuing Education website. The deadline to register is Feb. 26.

For more information or with questions about Keystone Coding and Careers, contact Ashton at [email protected].