By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Most students in Knox County Schools will not be in class on November 5 – Election Day, but a few will be for at least 90 minutes in a unique event.
Instead of listening to a teacher, they’ll actually be the instructors, sharing their expertise around coding – from writing code to programming 3D printers and everything in between – as part of the first-ever PolitiCode event. The name should say something about the individuals they will be teaching. They will be elected officials from Knox County.
Brandon Bruce, a well-known local entrepreneur and one of the Founders of the new Knoxville Technology Council (KTech), is helping organize the event along with Knoxville Councilwoman Stephanie Welch and Knox County Commissioner Larsen Jay.
The programming runs from 9 to 10:30 a.m. November 5 at Farragut High School. In addition to KTech, other collaborators include Knox County Schools and the Great Schools Partnership.
For Bruce, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education has been a major cause. Many will recall that he was one of the leaders of the successful effort in November 2017 to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people learning to code at the same time.
“We have two goals for the PolitiCode event,” Bruce says. The first goal is to spotlight what students are learning in school and showcase the latest in technology education to local elected officials. The second goal is to increase knowledge of the importance of coding for the workforce of the future.
“Talent development is what we talk about the most at KTech events and in the start-up community,” Bruce adds. “It’s great to be partnering with Theresa Nixon and team at Knox County Schools and the team at Great Schools Partnership again after working together to break the coding world record in 2017.”
The agenda is as follows:
- 9 a.m. – Refreshments, welcoming remarks and introductions of students and elected officials;
- 9:30 a.m. – Coding time where student teams will teach elected officials about computer programming in creative ways.
- 10:15 a.m. – Concluding remarks.
- 10:30 a.m. – Adjournment.
Elected officials invited to participate include the Mayors of Farragut, Knoxville, and Knox County; members of the Knox County Commission, Knoxville City Council, and Aldermen in the Town of Farragut; members of the Knox County School Board; State Senators and State Representatives from the county; the U.S. Representative from the 2nd District; U.S. Senators from Tennessee; and the Governor of Tennessee.
Those interested in attending the event can register here.