Local organization helping build future for computer scientists

As the field of information technology continues to grow, skilled workers for IT positions are in high demand.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Currently there is a lack of computer science graduates in South Dakota. The good news is that a local company is helping to build up the education.

TIE Logo

TIE, or Technology and Innovation in Education, has been around for over 30 years. They are a division of Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, which has a mission to make a difference in education by working with different organizations, like code.org, on a number of initiatives to increase computer science knowledge for K-12 students and teachers in our state.

Julie Erickson, TIE Learning Specialist, says, “It’s an effort to broaden the reach of computer science and computational thinking in our classrooms. We’ve been working at multiple levels and so that’s where we have – we are working with the kids and so we’ve been offering the kids camps and that’s a way just to introduce them — helping kids have that exposure to the possibilities and make it more broad-based rather than […] a computer class in high school. And we’ve really increased exposure in South Dakota.”

By using hands-on projects and tools the students can relate to, they are more apt to be interested in what they are leaning. And when the students are exposed to this career field, their eyes are opened to more career possibilities.

TIE Workshop

TIE Workshop

Julie says that she has seen a positive growth in the field locally with programs like STEAM Squared integrated into the schools.

“Computer programming is everywhere anymore, and it falls into pretty much any industry that you come across. So just having that basic knowledge of how things work is a really good background. These are skills that you can use in numerous areas so you can break down problems, you can collaborate, you can troubleshoot.”

Click here for more information on upcoming opportunities for teachers and students, like summer camps.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News