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Local Companies Hope To Inspire Kids To Pursue STEM Related Careers With Congressional App Challenge (News 15)

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August 27, 2019

Local companies are kicking off the congressional app challenge tonight, as a way to inspire more kids to pursue stem fields.

Middle and high school students in every congressional district in the country are challenged to develop an app.

Today, CGI, UL Cajun Codefest, Gear Up, A New Vision Leadership Foundation of Acadiana met at the LITE Center to get the students in Acadiana ready.

“It was mind blowing because I thought not knowing anything about coding. I thought it would be so hard and so boring.” said Majorie Hooper.

This isn’t her first time coding.

Last year, her team developed the Rescue Me App that helps people connect with others in distress during a natural disaster she saw firsthand the impact that coding can have.

“Being young and realizing what needs to be done, what needs to happen, making people feel heard and people that need help. Like this is crazy, 17 and 16 year old thinking of solutions for stuff that’s been happening for so many years.”said Hooper

Matt Delcambre, who is the Director, Center for Business & Information Technologies at UL, the challenge is designed to create a pipeline of the next generation of programmers.

He points out there more than two million jobs in the technology field that haven’t been filled.

For him, that’s why this is so important.

“Technology is everywhere. It’s ubiquitous among our kids and within our families, but what we are doing this time is trying to provide the opportunities is for kids to be the creators or makers of the app; the masters of that technology, where they are actually producers of the technology instead of consumers.” Delcambre explained.

Hooper believes that coding has helped shape her future.

“I want to do all kinds of research and the environment and like pollution and global warming and I just want to be on top of the game and figure out what can we do to help or prevent or slowing things down from happening. May be doing that I can set up my computer make an app, put it on the app store and tell people about it and be like if you download this app you can help me out what’s going and how we can stop it.” said Hooper.

There will be an awards ceremony for everyone in the challenge in December.

The winner of the congressional app challenge in Louisiana’s third district will have their work displayed at the White House.

News 15: