Program to Promote Computer Sciences at Valley Schools

CANFIELD, Ohio – Promoting understanding and accessibility of computer sciences, the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio is collaborating with 17 local schools for an Hour of Code event in early December.

The Hour of Code is not just about coding, but also about breaking down barriers and promoting diversity in computer science. With 67% of all new STEM jobs in computing, according to, only 11% of STEM bachelor’s degrees are in computer science.

Rachael Ayers, an instructional specialist with the ESCEO, has been leading the ESCEO’s efforts to bridge the gap and provide equal opportunities to all students by bringing this event to the area.

“Many children and adults are intimidated by the word ‘coding’ because they think it will be too difficult to grasp,” Ayers said. “Hour of Code helps bridge that divide so that every student, even those traditionally underrepresented in computer science fields, has some exposure to computer science principles. They may find that they love it.”

Nearly 10,000 local students have pledged to participate during school hours between Dec. 4-10. In Canfield, Jackson-Milton and Lowellville schools, students from kindergarten through 12th grade will engage in an immersive coding experience, while Boardman has invited a speaker from the FBI cybersecurity division to speak with high school students about the relevance of computer science in today’s world.

The other participating districts are Austintown, Beaver Local, Columbiana, Mahoning County Career & Technical Center, Potential Development, South Range, Springfield, United, Valley STEM, West Branch, Western Reserve, Youngstown City and Youngstown Community.

Additionally, the ESC of Eastern Ohio has partnered with the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County to host 10 Hour of Code events at seven branches from Dec. 4-8. The sessions will cater to individuals from pre-K to adults. More information is available HERE.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.