BREMERTON — Global communications company Huawei Technologies (USA) and Washington-state nonprofit Washington STEM donated $2,500 to support West Hills STEM Academy’s Code4Kids Day, Dec. 8.
West Hills STEM Academy held Code4Kids Day to participate in worldwide Computer Science Education Week. Students built Minecraft and Star Wars apps as part of Hour of Code, an hour-long introduction to coding and computer science. West Hills STEM Academy’s event was one of almost 200,000 Hour of Code events held throughout the world.
“Code4kids Day allows our students to learn how to create the kind of technology that’s changing our world,” said West Hills STEM Academy Principal Lisa Heaman. “We’re thankful for the partnership of Huawei and Washington STEM.”
Heaman said the money would probably be used to purchase eight Chromebook student laptops as well as a computer cart.
“We’re honored to work with students and teachers at West Hills STEM Academy to increase access to computer science in the classroom,” said Alison Jenkin, senior director of government and public affairs at Huawei Technologies (USA).
“Today’s students are tomorrow’s leadership at Huawei, and we’re glad to give them tools to gain the skills they need to succeed,” she said.
Present at the event were Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, Olympic ESD 114 Superintendent Dr. Greg Lynch, Bremerton School District Superintendent Dr. Aaron Leavell and Andrea Roper district representative for the office of Rep. Derek Kilmer.
The group watched as students used their laptops to work on application projects.
“Success breeds success. You guys are really leading the efforts on the ground,” King said to Lynch during the tour.
“The city of Bremerton likes to be the poster child for the entire state,” Lent said.
Alison Jenkin, senior director of government and public relations for Huawei Technologies, left, presents a $2,500 check to West Hills STEM Academy principal Lisa Heaman, center. At right is Caroline King, chief policy officer for Washington STEM.
Jenkin said such students could well be future employees for Huawei, and said there was a demand for workers with science, computer science and engineering backgrounds.
Jenkin said Huawei was the second-largest telecommunications company in the world and the third-largest smartphone manufacturer and said the company was very interested in apps. She said open source programs that worked on the Android operating system were useful, especially in third-world emerging markets were typical first world power infrastructure was not common.
The group also toured West Hills STEM Academy’s new 10,000-square-foot, $2.4 million STEM wing that is currently under construction. The new wing has a central common work area with six classrooms. The wing’s utility systems such as heating ventilation and air conditioning as well as data cabling and fire supression sprinkler system would all be left exposed so that students could see how the building was constructed. Trusses in the ceiling that made use of triangular supports would also be left out in the open.
Washington STEM is a statewide nonprofit advancing excellence, equity and innovation in science, technology, engineering and math education. Launched in March 2011 with support from the business, education and philanthropic communities, its goal is to reimagine and revitalize STEM education across Washington. For more information, visit www.washingtonstem.org.
The group tours the new STEM wing that is currently under construction.