The YouthCode program provides computer science and related STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learning and enrichment activities to help youth move from being passive technology consumers to active contributors.
There is no question today's youth have access to technology—in schools, homes, libraries, and even vehicles. A gap in the current computer science landscape, however, suggests there is a lack of students with computer literacy and computer science skills to meet the demand of growing career opportunities requiring these abilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates by 2024 over 1 million computing jobs will be available due to this gap. Furthermore, according to a study by Code.org, nine out of ten parents want their children to study computer science but only one in four schools teach computer programming.
Through YouthCode, bridging this gap is accomplished by exposing youth to computer science, enabling youth to learn and hone their skills, and educating youth and their parents to understand future opportunities. Coding is a 21st century life skill that enables youth to interact in new ways with the digital world as critical thinkers and problem solvers. Learning to code is also a fun way for students to develop creativity and boost confidence while practicing math, strengthening writing skills and learning basics of computer science.
Started April 2016, YouthCode is a program of Impacting The Next Generation Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. ITNGP provides oversight of the program including strategic planning, fiscal and volunteer management, curriculum guidance and equipment life cycle management. ITNGP partners with many organizations to make YouthCode possible.