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CTEC’s ‘Girls Code’ Program Is A Hit

When teacher Cody Henrichsen noticed that not many girls were taking his computer programming classes, he decided to do something about it. That’s how Canyons Technical Education Center’s “Girls Code” summer program began in 2012, and the tradition continued this July, with high school girls taking a weeklong crash course in computer programming careers.

“For each of the past two years, only one girl enrolled in CTEC’s computer programming course,” said Henrichsen, who has taught computer programming at CTEC for four years. “I looked for opportunities to encourage girls to become involved with computer technology and I thought Girls Code at CTEC would inspire them to have interest in computer programming.”

More than 30 percent of jobs in the field of computing are going unfilled, Henrichsen says. That means computer programmers are in high demand – which is an appealing plight for graduates looking for jobs in a struggling economy.

Last year, 10 girls participated in Girls Code course, which is designed to encourage high school girls to learn about computer science. This year, the girls learned how to use AppInventor and Javascript to program computers. They also took a tour of VPI Technology Group in Draper, an engineering and manufacturing services firm, where they met software engineers, lab technicians, electrical engineers and technical writers.

Each day of the program, female computer programmers spoke to the girls about their experience on the job. “(We) commend Cody for reaching out to teenagers, getting them excited about technology careers and teaching them computer programming,” VPI business development director Jackie Juston said of the short course.

KSL-TV Channel 5 profiles the Girls Code at CTEC program.
Utah Business magazine spotlights Henrichsen’s class.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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