Over 200 students submitted their final projects from their Dev Catalyst coding classes to our competition. Out of those, 21 exceptional students were awarded an all expenses paid tech tour of San Francisco. The trip, which is the sixth of its nature, gives students the chance to visit some top companies in Silicon Valley and discover the vast career options available to those in tech.
Dev Catalyst is rooted in developing student coders who are marketable in today’s workforce and we offer three high school competition categories: Hardware Development, Novice Web Development, and Data Development. Over two hundred students submitted competition entries this year alone. Eighty students were named code leaders and invited to celebrate at Awardaganza hosted at theCO.
Since it’s early stages Dev Catalyst has grown immensely, partly because of a great team driving and directing the program. Our newest addition is Christen Harper. We don’t consider Christen a new face around here simply because she’s been working with DevCatalyst as an intern for the past year. We’re excited to welcome her to the team full-time as Technology Education Coordinator for DevCatalyst in May.
theCO held its fourth annual theCOtoberfest at the end of October. The event featured a Fortune 500 Teller Booth, Maker Demos, CO:bots students, and the CO.STARTERS Showcase. But the booth that seemed to have the most traffic was the Raspberry Pi(e) Booth set up by Dev Catalyst. Throughout the day, kids of all ages entertained themselves by practicing their coding skills and interacting with Raspberry Pis.
theCO’s program, Dev Catalyst, annually hosts a competition for local students who are interested in coding and robotics. Throughout the course of the program, nearly 800 students participated in one of three categories (Novice Web Development, Advanced Web Development, and Data Development) in order to learn teamwork skills, develop professional skills, network with tech professionals, and hopefully win the grand prize trip to San Francisco, California.
Memphis held its’ first ever women’s Hackathon late last month at the Fedex Institute of Technology in the hopes of “cultivating a positive environment for women in technology from across the region.” Molly Plyler and Christen Harper, two Dev Catalyst team members at theCO, attended the event which only lasted a short 24 hours.
“Support local change,” “increase rigor and equity,” and “grow the movement.” These are three things that one would see when first opening the CSforAll webpage. The CSforAll Consortium is a effort started by the National Science Foundation to make computer science accessible for all students nationwide. Recently, the organization has added Dev Catalyst, a program of theCO, as a new consortium member alongside big tech companies like Google, Dell, Facebook, and Teach For America.
Maria McConkey is a student worth watching out for. Recognized by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), McConkey isn’t an ordinary Jackson Christian School (JCS) student. According to her teacher, she is extraordinary.
“Maria always goes above and beyond what is asked of her,” JCS math teacher and Webmaster, Donna Newberry, explained. Newberry has had the privilege of teaching the budding tech talent in JCS’s and Dev Catalyst-sponsored Web Design, Web Application, and Web Development classes.
Last year, McConkey finished in the top ten students competing for Dev Catalyst’s Code Champion award. Winners received an all-expense-paid trip to San Francisco, where they tour tech companies like Apple, Google, and LinkedIn.
To add to her resume, McConkey spent the summer working alongside four other Dev Catalyst standouts on the official Socktober site sponsored by Brad Montague and Kid President.
According to ncwit.org, NCWIT is a non-profit community designed to convene, equip, and unite organizations who lead in the inclusion of women.
McConkey was recently awarded the award for Aspiration in Computing. Since 2007, the award has been given to young women in high school across the nation who have shown an interest and aspiration in technology. As a student at JCS, McConkey expressed her interest in computing by participating the theCO’s Dev Catalyst program. Since starting in the fall of 2015, McConkey has an award for her final coding project, as well as the experience with the Socktober website.
McConkey plans to attend Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee, after graduation from JCS in May.