Students from under-resourced schools learn the language of computers

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CHICAGO — The same grants that’ve gone to colleges like Harvard, Brown and University of Chicago are also finding traction at a state school for CPS students as Google grant money goes towards fostering the next generation of tech minds across the country.

On the campus of Northeastern Illinois University, high school students are being given the tools to teach and to learn the first steps of language for computers. During the six-week, weekend course students from Roosevelt High School and other young minds from under-represented communities are given a chance to reach into the world of computer programming and coding.

About $4,400 in funding for the program comes from Google, as NEIU is one of a number of universities awarded up to $10,000 dollars from the tech giant to build these small group classes.

Rachel Trana is a computer science professor and jumped at the chance for her college students to become teachers, and get others interested in computer science.

“Even if they don’t go into computer science they can use this for any other field they choose to go into,” Trana said.

Next Saturday is the final week for this course, as the students head off to summer break with new skills and a new appreciation for the future of language.

“I think it’s something they see as cool and approachable,” said NEIU student Austin Leatham. “Hopefully we’ll get them to go over that bridge a little sooner.”


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