Ours is a world where parents are encouraged to teach their 8 year-old children to code, while McKinsey and others repeatedly report a striking disconnect between our students' credentials and the trainings companies see as necessary for their success. So, while educators scramble to beef up STEM education, some programs are working to engage kids in hands-on projects, shepherded by experts in their field. Case in point: GenTech's recent Hackathon.
"How are you doing?" Jordan Runge, program director at NFTE, asked as he strolled by a hacker. "I... Wh--I've just been coding since..." The teen trailed off and her eyes returned to a laptop, which was emblazoned with "NERD," "GitHub," "Google" and other coder insignia.
This was my first glance into the world of NYC Generation Tech's (GenTech "Code4Tomorrow" student hackathon. The GenTech Hackathon is a tech entrepreneurship competition grouping high school coders--ranging from novice to expert--for an afternoon so they can dream up a digital product that benefits their community, and build it!