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Supporters rally to ‘Fund the Future’

On February 6, we demonstrated just how our education programs make an impact

Samantha Dahlby has been heading up education programs at NewBoCo for the past six years, providing training for students and teachers alike. 

Things have changed a lot during that time. 

“People are starting to get it,” Samantha said. “Parents, students, teachers – they are all starting to understand that every company is a technology company, no matter what their product is. People see the need for computer science, and the relevance.” 

At NewBoCo, we want to get that message out even further. So we held a Fund the Future event Feb. 6. Taking place from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Geonetric Building, 415 12th Ave. SE, Fund the Future showcased all of our education programs. Those ranged from Tiny Techies and CoderDojo for kids, to K12 curriculum for students and teachers, to adult career programs like DeltaV. 

“We wanted people to get an idea of what students in our variety of education programs experience,” Samantha said. “And we wanted to share hands-on components, as well as things that students have produced in our programs.”  

During the evening, we highlighted some of our success stories over the past few years. Those included:  

Looking back at Fund the Future.
  • Winners of the Future City regional competition. NewBoCo coordinates the annual event in Iowa, in which middle schoolers work together to design cities of the future and how they will work. 
  • The CoderDojo program, a free event on weekends that allows younger students to experience hands-on activities like drone piloting, electrical circuits, microscopes and more. 
  • Girls Who Code Clubs, which allow students from 3rd to 12th grade to work together on exploring computer science. 
  • The Tiny Techies professional development program, which supports PreK through 2nd grade teachers. Tiny Techies offers training on foundational computer science concepts without actually using computers and screens. Instead, Tiny Techies workshops allow teachers to work with “Squishy Circuit” materials, basic robotics, pattern recognition, and more.

Hands-on booths at Fund the Future highlighted student work and experiences across NewBoCo’s programs. Attendees were able to explore creations, talk with participants, and understand what the costs are in order to continue those programs. 

“Working with districts and educators to understand their needs and barriers is how we have been able to grow this program in Iowa,” Samantha says. “I really love engaging students that have maybe lost their excitement in the world. Maybe they’re really bored, or they feel like they’re left behind. And computer science and STEM really provides a different way for them to engage with the world and highlight their strengths.”

See a gallery of photos from Fund the Future here.

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