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Thousands of Utah Students Participated in the Hour of Code Event

December 17th, 2013

Nationwide, over 17 million people participated in an Hour of Code, December 9-15, 2014, with students writing over 563 million lines of code. In Utah, approximately 57,500 elementary, secondary, and postsecondary students participated in the event.

“Southwest Applied Technology College had over 70 students and faculty participate in the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code went so well, some chose to go above and beyond and learn more about programming from codecademy.com and khanacademy.org. I personally think this was a great experience. I can’t wait to see what kind of technology and programs we are going to have [in the future], since many students have now chosen programming as a profession,” said Scott Nelson, Information Technology Teaching Assistant at Southwest Applied Technology College.

Congratulations to Jackson Elementary School, in Salt Lake City, Utah, who was awarded a classroom set of laptop computers, by Computer Science Education Week, for their Hour of Code plan.

National Computer Science Facts:
> Computer science is a top paying college degree.

> Less than 2.4 percent of college students graduate with a degree in computer science. And the numbers have dropped since the last decade.

> Exposure to computer science leads to some of the best-paying jobs in the world. However, 75 percent of the population is underrepresented.

> Computer programming jobs are growing at two times the national average.

> While, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees are earned by women, just 12 percent of computer science degrees are awarded to women.

> 9 out of 10 schools don’t offer computer programming classes.

> In 36 of 50 states, computer science doesn’t count towards high school graduation math or science requirement.

Source: csedweek.org/promote

Utah Computer Science Facts:
> Utah is one of 14 states that require students to take computer science in order to graduate.

> Approximately one-third of Utah high schools teach computer programming or computer science.

> Approximately 20 Utah schools are teaching a new ninth-grade elective called “Exploring Computer Science.”

“My classes participated in the Hour of Code. I feel like this was a great experience for all of my students to better understand problem solving, but more importantly to get excited about programming. After watching the short intro videos, students were surprised by how many notable people and “cool” people were getting involved in coding. The most exciting thing for me was their enthusiasm for coding. I had a few students complete “Beyond an Hour of Code” (the 20 hour course) for which they received a prize of their choice. What’s even more exciting is that instead of students asking to play games at the end of class, I now have students asking if they can code. What a great opportunity this has been! I would do this again in a heartbeat!” said Kimberly Mendenhall, Computer Technology teacher at Fort Herriman Middle School, Jordan School District.

Students, talk to your school counselor to sign up for a course in one of six Utah Information Technology Education Pathways. By participating in a computer science course you will learn to think creatively, develop problem solving skills, and how to write code.

Utah news stories highlighting the Hour of Code event:
Should Utah require computer coding before graduation?
Event aims to spark kids’ interest in computer science
Monte Vista Students Join Millions in Hour of Code

 

SkillsUSA Pin and T-shirt Design Competition

December 13th, 2013

The national association of SkillsUSA is calling for pin and T-shirt design entries for the 2014 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, which will be held June 23-27, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri. This design competition is open to all registered SkillsUSA student members who are enrolled in a Career and Technical Education program at a high school or postsecondary institution with an active SkillsUSA chapter.

Who: SkillsUSA student members

What: 2014 National Conference Pin and T-shirt Design Competition

When: Now through February 1, 2014.

Why: The winning designs will become the official pin or T-shirt for the 2014 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

How: One entry per SkillsUSA member. Entry rules are located in the SkillsUSA membership kit.

Mail entries to:
SkillsUSA National Headquarters
14001 SkillsUSA Way
Leesburg, VA 20176

Deadline: Entries must be received (not postmarked) no later than Saturday, February 1, 2014.

Questions? Contact Heidi Walsh at hwalsh@skillsusa.org.

Prizes: A plaque for the teacher and student, plus a school grant to the advisor of the winning student will be announced at a later date.

View the 2013 winning designs.

 

Summer Business Leadership Academy

December 12th, 2013

High school business students, plan now to apply for the Summer Business Leadership Academy at Mercy College in New York. This one week camp is an opportunity for serious business students to learn more about the world of business. Students will be exposed to real world executives and learn what it takes to become a leader. This is a highly selective one week course that is tuition and dorm free.

Who: High school students

What: Summer Business Leadership Academy

Where: Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York

When: The Leadership Academy is held during a five week period in June and July. On the application, students will choose one week when they would be available to attend.

Why: Learn about the world of business from top ranked professors and industry leaders and tour Fortune 500 businesses.

How: Click HERE to apply.

Deadline: Application due by Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

For more information visit: Mercy College School of Business

Watch: Highlights from the 2013 Summer Business Leadership Academy

 

Utah International Mountain Forum Essay Contest

December 12th, 2013

In conjunction with the celebration of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming, the Utah International Mountain Forum and Utah Valley University has announced the Fourth Annual Utah High School Essay Contest.

Essay topic: The Family Farm in Mountain Communities.

Goal of essay: To educate and engage the public on the issues of family farming, mountain life, and the ways to serve and lift up our fellow man.

Topics for submission may include, but are not limited to:

  • Arid farming practices
  • Exportable technology or innovations
  • Difficulties facing arid land or high mountain farms
  • Family management of farms in the 21st century
  • Family vs. industrial farming
  • Soil and water solutions
  • Economic challenges and solutions in the era of globalization
  • Indigenous or cultural farming practices

Submission guidelines: Check HERE

Award: All participants will be awarded a certificate of participation. However, the best student essays will receive a financial award, in addition to a certificate of participation, and a chance to publish his or her work.

Due date: Essay must be submitted by Thursday, February 6, 2014.

Submit essay to: samhill.conlaw@gmail.com

For more information, visit:
Utah International Mountain Forum
Utah Valley University

 

Mind the Skills Gap

December 4th, 2013

By Mary Shumway
State Director of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Utah State Office of Education

You may have heard the phrase, “mind the gap,” a warning to passengers on the London Underground to be cautious as they cross from the station platform into the train.  Equally deserving of careful attention is the skills gap. It seems that there is a constant stream of articles, studies, and statements by people on all sides of this global issue, alerting us to a dim future should we fail to mind the skills gap.  For example, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development reported that adults (ages 16-65) in the U. S. have poor literacy and numeracy skills, despite relatively high educational attainment (OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills). The assessment looked at the cognitive and workplace skills needed to succeed in today’s global economy. A related report focusing on the United States (Survey of Adult Skills, First Results: United States) indicates that there are few signs of improvement. The average basic skills of young adults are not very different from older persons – and basic skills are not only related to employment outcomes, but also to personal and social well-being!

The report reveals much to be concerned about, but an additional report based on the findings, Time for the U.S. to Reskill? What the Survey of Adult Skills Says, lays out policy recommendations to address those concerns. Recommendation 4, in particular, is worth highlighting here:

Link efforts to improve basic skills to employability, recognizing that good jobs open up further learning options, while basic skills can often be more readily acquired in practical contexts.

This is Career and Technical Education! Participating in Career and Technical Education increases the opportunities you have of succeeding in college, career and life. Utah students have the chance to jumpstart their careers by completing a CTE Pathway, which includes Work-Based Learning, being a member of a Student Leadership Organization, and achieving Skills Certificates. Completing a Pathway will help you mind the skills gap!

Top Utah Occupations in Skilled and Technical Sciences

December 4th, 2013

Pathways in the Skilled and Technical Sciences area reflect a broad variety of interests, but when it comes to those occupations that are rated 5-Star* by the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Mechanical and Construction occupations really stand out as summarized in the table below.

For more information about these and other occupations – including related education and training options – you can browse UtahFutures. To see other “best” Utah occupations, check out the Utah Job Outlook Brochure. And to explore the full variety of Pathways in Skilled and Technical Sciences, as well as other CTE Areas, visit UtahCTE.org.

2014 Youth Pork Ambassador Program

November 27th, 2013

Utah Agricultural Education students, how would you like a $2,500.00 scholarship? If you said “yes,” are you interested in the pork industry and working with people statewide? Then, plan now to apply for the Utah Pork Producers “Youth Pork Ambassador Program.” This program is open to both high school and postsecondary Agricultural Education students interested in learning more about and representing the Utah pork industry. The ambassadors will receive up to a $2,500 scholarship.

The Utah Youth Pork Ambassador Program is designed to provide youth with an opportunity to:
> Become actively involved in the pork industry.
> Participate in hands-on experience in the many facets of pork production and agriculture in the state of Utah.
> Develop strong relationships with the various types of pork producers throughout the state of Utah.
> Gain a better understanding of the pork industry.
> Develop and improve communication and leadership skills.

The main goal of the Youth Pork Ambassador is to promote the Utah Pork Producers Association and the pork industry at various events. The successful candidate will gain valuable experience and develop relationships that will last a lifetime. The ambassador will also receive up to a $2,500 scholarship, payable to a technical school, community college, or a 4-year university at the end of the program.

To apply for the 2014 Youth Pork Ambassador Program download the information and application from the Utah FFA Association homepage at: www.utffa.org.

 Applications are due Friday, December 20, 2013.

Digital Media Arts Festival T-shirt and Poster Contest

November 25th, 2013

The coordinators of the 2014 Utah Digital Media Arts Festival (DMAF) are soliciting entries for the T-shirt and poster contest for the Festival. Students are asked to come up with their own 3-5 word theme for the Festival, with a focus on design, creativity, and/or digital media, and then design a T-Shirt and poster illustrating that theme.

The DMAF is a yearly competition/festival that gives students the opportunity to showcase his or her best work, and for students to see projects from all around the state.  The winning poster will be given to educators attending the UACTE Winter Conference and in May the T-shirt will be given to attendees of the Digital Media Arts Festival. The winner will be awarded a trophy at the Festival.

T-shirt design requirements:

  • The T-Shirt is a one color silkscreen.
    Choose one color for the T-shirt and one color for the ink.
  • Size: 11″ x 17″
  • Submit design in a 300 dpi vector/.ai file format.
  • The design can be either for the front or the back of the T-shirt.
  • The winning design becomes the property of the Digital Media Arts Festival.

Poster design requirements:

  • The poster is full color.
  • Size: 11″ x 17″ and 17″ x 22″
  • Submit design in a 300 dpi vector/.ai file format.
  • The winning design becomes the property of the Digital Media Arts Festival.
  • The poster design should include the chosen theme and festival categories listed below.
2D Animation Art Portfolio
2D Graphics – Raster Audio
2D Graphics – Vector Interactive Media
3D Animation Photography
3D Graphics Video
Animation – Stop Motion Web Design

Entry requirements:

  • Must be a Utah high school student.
  • Designs must consist of completely original artwork, absolutely NO clip-art or stock illustrations, and NO copyrighted material. Any typography must be licensed for free commercial use.
  • Student entering the contest must be willing to sign a media release.
  • Entries submitted via a drop box.
    Contact Mr. Jensen at djensen@dsdmail.net for submission details.

 The deadline for entering the contest is Friday, December 20, 2013.
The winner will be announced by January 31, 2014.

WATCH a slideshow video featuring the 2013 Digital Media Arts Festival winners.

 

Utah CTE Graphic Design Contest

November 19th, 2013

The Business Education and the Information Technology Education specialists, at the Utah State Office of Education, are in the process of planning their summer conference for Utah educators. The organizers of each conference invite YOU (Utah middle/junior high and high school students) to design the graphic for their summer conference program materials. The winning graphic for Business Education and for Information Technology Education will be printed on the program cover, welcome posters, vendor punch cards, and thank you cards. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your talent and creativity as you design a “unique graphic” for each conference.

Each entry will be judged by a state committee of Business Education teachers and Information Technology Education teachers. An entry will be selected for the Business Education summer conference and for the Information Technology Education summer conference. Each winner will receive a one-year subscription to the Adobe creative Cloud Suite worth $600. The winners will be announced by March 3, 2014.

Designs must consist of completely original artwork, absolutely NO clip-art or stock illustrations, and NO copyrighted material. Any typography must be licensed for free commercial use. Designs must be scalable to work in both large and small formats. The winning designs will be the sole property of the Utah State Office of Education to be used in any manner. The winning designers will be fully credited with their design work. The name and picture of each winner will be featured on the summer conference program.

> Business Education graphic design contest ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
> Information Technology Education graphic design contest ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Entries MUST be received by Monday, January 6, 2014.

Questions?
Contact: Andrea Curtin – Utah State Office of Education – 801-538-7976

January will be here before you know it, so don’t delay in creating your design for the Business Education summer conference or for the Information Technology Education Education contest. Good luck!

 

Plan Now to Participate in the Hour of Code Event

November 13th, 2013

In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, plan now to participate in the Hour of Code event December 9-15, 2013. The first annual Hour of Code is a campaign to encourage 10 million students to learn to code. Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. believed, “Everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”

The goal of the Hour of Code campaign is to demystify computer science for students across the country. Through introductory tutorials, that can be completed online, on a smartphone, or even unplugged, students will learn the basics of how to code. Code.org is challenging teachers, parents and even employers to encourage students of all ages to participate during Computer Science Education Week.

Participate at your school
Participate in your community
Participate at your workplace

Did you know?

  • Software jobs outnumber students 3-to-1.
  • The gap is 1 million jobs over 10 years and these are some of the highest paying jobs.
  • 90 percent of schools in the US do not teach computer science.
  • In many countries, computer science is required (China, Vietnam, Estonia. Soon UK, Australia)
  • The basics of coding can be learned by anybody, starting in elementary school. But fewer than 10 percent of students try and only 2 percent are women.

There is no need to wait until December 9, 2013 to start learning how to code. Start now by trying out one of the programs listed below:

Scratch
Codecademy
Khan Academy
CodeHS

“Whether you’re trying to make a lot of money or whether you just want to change the world, computer programming is an incredibly empowering skill to learn, says Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO, Code.org.

To join this event sign up HERE and WATCH what people are saying about the Hour of Code.