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      CTE - Computer Programming
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      CTE - Fashion Merchandising
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      CTE - Math and Woodworking
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    CTE News
    Gone are the days of boys-only science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes. Canyons District is going the extra mile to make sure young women are exposed to fields that traditionally have been dominated by men — and encouraging them to take classes that would open doors to those careers.

    One of the events in this effort was the "You Go, Girls — No Limits!" career fair, which featured a keynote address by a professor of management from the Utah Valley University Woodbury School of Management. Dr. Susan Madsen, who also is the director of the Utah Women and Education Project for Utah, spoke about the importance and benefits of education for women.

    A select group of 200 eighth-grade girls from all eight Canyons District middle schools participated in the event, which was held in the fall. Organizers in CSD's Career and Technical Education Department have planned the event for two years and plan to do it again next fall.
    When Jordan High School teacher Karen Durfee applied to participate in Samsung's Solve For Tomorrow education contest in September, she was hoping to win about $500, or enough to buy some tablets for her classroom, where she teaches engineering and robotics.

    She never imagined she'd win at least $20,000 in technology for her school, and be in the running to win up to $140,000, but on Dec. 5, that's exactly what happened. Durfee was chosen as the state winner of the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow contest, and she advances to the next round of competition.

    "When all of a sudden they say, 'You just won $20,000,' I said, whoa, I was going to be kicking my heels for $500, and I never dreamed of winning that amount of money," Durfee says. "Other teachers here are looking at the (contest) website now to see what they can do for next year. I don't mind, it's for the kids, it's not for me. That's what we're here for."

    Three of the five schools chosen as state finalists in the Samsung contest are from Canyons School District: Jordan High School, Butler Middle and Eastmont Middle. Wayne High School in Wayne County and Milford High School in Beaver County were also chosen. Each finalist school will receive two Samsung Galaxy tablets for participating.

    As the state winner, Durfee also receives a Samsung laptop, camcorder and software bundle to prepare for the next phase of the competition, which must be completed by Feb. 2, 2014. To that end, Durfee and 11 students who volunteered to participate are meeting after school twice a week for one hour to complete a video of their project.

    Durfee was chosen as the state winner for her innovative approach to advancing interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to her congratulatory letter signed by David Steel, Samsung Electronics America executive vice president of strategy and corporate communications.

    "Your commitment to your students and school as well as to advancing STEM education is evident through the great work you are doing," Steel said in the letter.

    Durfee started looking for grants and monetary awards after Jordan High School principal Tom Sherwood encouraged teachers to do so, pointing out that other schools in the District received money from outside programs.

    "There is money out there if you look for it," Durfee said. "I thought anything is better than nothing. I went online and typed in STEM, and lo and behold, there are many organizations who have money they'd like to give to education if you meet the criteria."
    A two-day Hour of Code event at Hillcrest High this week was a big hit with students — and not just because of the free pizza. If the popularity of teacher Ed Mondragon’s regular computer programming class is any indication, it’s the binary code that’s drawing them in, and it’s just in time.

    “Folks, it’s not outrageously hard,” Mondragon told about 20 students who came to participate in the after-school event. “It takes some thinking and it takes some dedication, but learning how to learn is tremendously valuable.”

    Programmers from Microsoft — including a former Husky — and graduate students in computer programming came to mentor the students and give advice on how to prepare for a career in computer science. It’s important to start early by taking computer classes and practicing programming outside of school in order to stay competitive, they said.

    To the uninitiated, learning computer programming may be daunting, but it is a skill that is of increasing importance, Mondragon says, and may someday be a matter of literacy. He refers to a quote hanging on his wall by Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg — “In 15 years we’ll be teaching programming just like reading and writing and wondering why we didn’t do it sooner,” it says — as he explains his motivation for starting Hillcrest High School’s first computer programming class this year.

    That’s the same idea behind the Hour of Code, a national initiative to encourage every student to try computer science for one hour during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 9-15, 2013. Anyone can try out writing a computer program by visiting and following the tutorial. So far, more than 13 million people have visited the site.

    Other events throughout the District took place in honor of the Hour of Code. Hillcrest High School’s robotics team provided a demonstration of their award-winning robot at an event organized by the Wasatch Institute of Technology at Adobe on Tuesday, Dec. 10.  Dozens of local businesses and organizations, such as Harmons and the Red Cross, attended to show students career possibilities in the field of computer science.

    BrightonAlta and Jordan High also hosted Hour of Code events early in the morning, during the day and after school. For female students interested in learning computer programming, Canyons Technical Education Center offers intensive sessions in the Girls Who Code course every summer.

    Canyons District is building an army of "code talkers."

    Canyons schools are participating this week, which is Computer Science Education Week, in the “Hour of Code,” a nationwide effort to increase the awareness of and interest in computer science.

    The goal of Hour of Code activites, says Janet Goble, CSD’s Director of Career and Technical Education, “is to introduce students to the world of programming in hopes of encouraging” more participation in computer science courses.

    Goble says students will be programming via tablet apps and introduced to other types of computer programming. They also will learn options available to them in the fields of computer science and programming.

    One of the highlights of the week is Hillcrest High's invited participation in an event at Adobe System Inc.'s Lehi campus. The school's robotics team, which last year won the opportunity to compete in the world FIRST Robotics contest in St. Louis, was asked to have a booth and give a formal presentation on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Learning events also will be held this week at Alta, Brighton, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools.

    Computer science is one of the highest paying career areas with more than a million jobs currently not being filled in the United States. In addition, fewer than 10 percent of schools offer computer science as an option for students.

    Sunday, 08 December 2013 17:17

    Project House

    Canyons District's Project House helps students build a strong foundation for the future. Students involved in the project, which requires students in construction-related classes to build a house from the ground up over the course of a school year, are busy at work on this year's project.

    Last year's project, which was sold for $366,000, featured hardwood and tile floors, granite countertops, crown molding, a gas fireplace, custom cabinets, air conditioning, ceiling fans, a covered porch with a sound system, landscaping, and energy-efficient appliances. It can be seen at 571 E. Rose Bowl Court in Sandy.
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