Coding Class: Students Present Tech Exhibits | Local News

VALDOSTA — Students at Westside Elementary School did more than play with robots at the Tech/Coding Expo.

Third, fourth and fifth graders coded to a crowd of Westside employees, other students and parents. Using laptops and iPads, students moved robots and created Google sites.

Cynthia Flowers, a gifted teacher who has worked in Lowndes County schools for more than 25 years, planned the event to showcase what her students have learned and to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs.

“Technology is changing the way we do things on a daily basis and logically affects the jobs of the future for our students,” Flowers said.

They even got to bring a special guest, Washington Redskins linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons, to greet the kids and see their work.

A former student of Lowndes County Schools, Harvey-Clemons went to the University of Georgia and the University of Louisville before joining the NFL. He brought signed mini soccer balls to the kids who participated in the coding event.

“The opportunity to do that can take you a long way,” Harvey-Clemons said. “It’s something we weren’t taught at that age, and this school system is changing. Children are on another level when it comes to the things they do.

Typically a fifth grade event, the exhibit was extended to third and fourth graders this year.

Shelly Collins, a parent volunteer, said the event’s growth is exactly what these students need to eventually join the workforce.

“For them to be introduced to this at such a young age, it’s amazing,” Collins said.

Katelyn Umholtz is a reporter for the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at (229) 244-3400 ext. 1256.

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