While Jubilee Housing Director of Youth Services, Audrey Walker, was shopping at Pentagon City Mall, she stopped in the Microsoft store and sparked up a conversation with the community director about Jubilee Youth Services’ (JYS) focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) as an educational approach for our youth programming. The community director extended an invitation to JYS Activity Zone students to attend a coding class at the Microsoft store.
On March 28, JYS staff and students loaded into the van and drove to the Microsoft Store in Pentagon City. Once at the Microsoft studio, students were greeted with an interactive screen and lite snacks. During the class students learned about different coding languages, created video game characters, and game backgrounds from Microsoft Surface pads.
During the break, kids had a chance to interact with robots and use past generations of Microsoft computers. Microsoft staff also had conversations with the students about the importance of technology and their interests in coding.
Access to technology and coding classes is important for school-age children, as it can improve math and problem solving skills, foster creativity, and can strengthen verbal and written skills.
“It was a great opportunity to introduce the youth to new resources and STEAM opportunities. This will spark an interest in STEAM professions later on in life,” said Walker.
This is just the beginning of a long partnership between Microsoft and Jubilee Youth Services. There are classes planned throughout the summer including computer basics, entrepreneur training, and HTML coding classes.