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Forest Lake Participates in National Coding Challenge


Columbia, SC – Richland School District 2 youth learned new problem-solving and analytical skills after participating in the annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD), sponsored by the SC State University 1890 Research & Extension program. The 1890 Extension Program, Midlands Region, continued celebrating the event by partnering with local schools and after-school programs, including the Forest Lake Elementary School, to host the 4-H NYSD Game Changers challenge, which featured teaching youth how to code.

“Today I learned how to use Scratch, which is a coding program for kids,” said Skyler Ly, who attends Forest Lake Elementary School. “I learned that the graphic character used in scratch is called a sprite.” I think I’ll use coding in the future on computers at my job, noted the 4th grader, who was one of 31 students participating in the activities today.

During the months of October and December, Midlands extension agents partnered with local schools and after-school programs in the Columbia and Orangeburg areas, where a total of 103 fourth-graders were exposed to coding by participating in the computer science activities.

“I really appreciate the partnership developed with South Carolina State University 1890 Research and Extension,” said Benjamin Jackson, assistant principal and director of Golden Eagles Mentoring Program and 2011 graduate of SC State University. “The boys participating in the Golden Eagles Mentoring Program truly enjoyed coding. The activities were engaging and relevant to their daily experiences. Developing skills in coding now may help plant the seed of our future computer scientist or game designers.”

1890 Extension Midlands agent, Sydney Reid shares the importance of the extension program having opportunities to host programs in various regions within the state.

 “This was Forest Lake’s second time in two months [the first time was in October] participating in National Youth Science Day with the 1890 program,” says Reid. “It is important for 1890 to spread its services to as many entities in the state of South Carolina as possible. The opportunity to partner with Forest Lake Elementary School gave 1890 the foundation to begin a partnership that we hope to continue, noted Reid.  

The 4-H NYSD is an annual program that provides access and opportunity for kids to take an interest in STEM by participating in a hands-on STEM challenge. In addition to the event in Orangeburg, the 1890 Research & Extension program sponsored the challenge in Anderson, Marlboro, Florence and Richland counties. These locations were among the thousands of events held in all 50 states and countries around the world last month.

About South Carolina 4-H

4-H, the nation's largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. The 4-H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills.

SC State University, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.