After all the work done so far in Tieton, Ed Marquand is still concerned about the future of the small town. He believes that in 15 years, 8 out of 10 farm jobs will be lost when the automation of the agriculture industry makes some jobs obsolete. He wants teens in the area to get competitive jobs in the automated farming industry.
So he got interested when his friend Dan Maycock came to him with an idea.
As Marquand explains Maycock’s idea, âFarm businesses in this region are just starting to realize how far behind they are in technology. If the children of Highland were trained in coding and were around a year old, they could get coding jobs for agricultural technology. Why not start a pop-up coding camp? “
And that’s exactly what started this summer for some students in the Highland School District. The coding camp was designed to target junior high and high school students this summer, but Maycock and Marquand hope to expand it to elementary classes in the future.
The coding camp was held July 26-30 and August 7-8, and I was fortunate enough to attend. Coming with resources from an organization called Code.org, we worked on increasingly difficult levels, and some worked with sprite objects, graphics, and game lab animations.
The students also played games. Code.org works with popular franchises such as Minecraft, Ice Age, Frozen, and Star Wars. The games were complex and it was fun to see it all come together. I could make characters dance to popular songs, get Sid from “Ice Age” to talk and move, and hunt a chicken in Minecraft. Working on complicated spirits was difficult, but once mastered I could make them do anything!