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Educators, technologists encourage young people to pursue computer science

Part of Tech Movement initiative aimed at spurring more interest in IT-related jobs and careers

JACKSON, Miss., Sept. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --

Technology and education leaders will discuss the importance of encouraging and inspiring students of all ages to pursue an academic degree or career in information technology and computer science during a press briefing at the Mississippi Science Fest tomorrow in Jackson, Mississippi.

WHAT:  News media representatives are invited to attend a press briefing tomorrow with leaders from the education and technology worlds to discuss the importance of encouraging and inspiring students of all ages to pursue an academic degree or career in IT and computer science.

The press briefing will come on the second day of the 2019 Mississippi Science Fest in Jackson, Miss. and a day after the second annual C3 Jr. coding challenge hosted by C Spire and the Mississippi Children's Museum featuring elementary children from 15 public and private schools around the state. 

Speakers from academia - Mississippi State University Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. David Shaw - and from the technology and early childhood education worlds – C Spire Chief Technology Officer Carla Lewis and MCM President and CEO Susan Garrard – will focus on efforts to help equip young people to be successful in the new digital economy.

Shaw, Lewis and Garrard will discuss the importance of information technology and computer science in workforce development and helping attract high-paying, quality jobs to Mississippi during a special 11 a.m. press briefing at the museum.

Other activities during the Science Fest, which is now in its fourth year and was named in 2018 as the small festival of the year by the Mississippi Tourism Association and a Top 20 event by the Southern Tourism Society, include Science After 6, Field Trip Friday, CSI Mississippi, Science Fest Day at all four LeFleur District museums and Discovery Night.

During the coding challenge, teams of up to four students, a teacher or sponsor from each school used critical thinking and problem-solving skills to navigate an obstacle course and showcase their creative and technical abilities during the competition.  Members of the top three teams received trophies and tech-related prizes.

C3 Jr. is patterned after four successful C3 coding challenges for high school students C Spire has conducted in the last two years involving over 480 students and teams from 103 high schools in 73 Mississippi counties.  Pepper, a four-foot tall humanoid robot from Softbank Robotics America with a tablet for a chest, also will be on hand interacting with students and other guests participating in the Science Fest.

C3 and C3 Jr. are part of the broader C Spire Tech Movement designed to help move the region forward through improvements in broadband access, workforce development and innovation.  Rapid progress in development of a 21st century technology workforce is a key element of the Tech Movement. 

To purchase tickets to Science Fest Day on Saturday, Sept. 21 or for the full schedule of activities, go to www.mssciencefest.org.  To learn more or get involved with the C Spire Tech Movement, go to www.cspire.com/techmvmt.

WHEN: Friday, September 20, 2019
11 a.m. CT

WHERE: Mississippi Children's Museum
2145 Museum Boulevard
Jackson, MS 39202


  • Dr. David Shaw, Provost and Executive Vice President, Mississippi State University
  • Carla Lewis, Chief Technology Officer, C Spire
  • Susan Garrard, President and CEO, Mississippi Children's Museum
  • Shevon Hall, Teacher, Madison Crossing Elementary School
  • Jada Stokes, Student, Madison Crossing Elementary School
C Spire (PRNewsFoto/C Spire) (PRNewsFoto/C Spire) (PRNewsFoto/C Spire)

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