CLEVELAND – It’s a threat that could slow down advances in technology and leave us more vulnerable online.
A massive worldwide shortage of skilled cybersecurity workers is expected in the next two years.
Right now, a unique program is trying to beef-up that workforce by getting students not only interested, but proficient in computer science.
Students at the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine are getting a crash course on computer programming.
“When I saw Java I was like coding, that’s fun,” said Jalen brown, an 11th grader at Cleveland School of Science and Medicine.
The two-people leading Jalen’s class aren’t teachers but software developers.
“It’s good that they’re spending their time teaching us this because their jobs are really demanding,” said Stacy Glaspy, a 10th grader at Cleveland School of Science and Medicine.
More than a dozen developers volunteer their time each week as part of the TEALS Program.
“Technology is really advancing these days,” said Glaspy.
TEALS brings computer science into high school classrooms across the country.
“We need more computer science at the middle and high school level,” said Sheryl Edwards, computer science teacher.
Edwards is learning right alongside her students.
“It helps so much to have professionals in the classroom, best thing I’ve ever done in my career. I hope to be able to teach a java class on my own,” said Edwards.
Now in her 24th year of teaching, Edwards tells News 5 her students know a lot about technology when it comes to fun.
“We need more technology for problem solving and logic, and more of the serious side of technology for students,” said Edwards.
TEALS just launched in Cleveland, along with two suburban districts this year.
Volunteer Molly Fessel tells News 5 it forces students to think logically.
“Which isn’t helpful for just computer science, it’s helpful for a wide variety of things. Their math classes, science classes, even music,” said Fessel.
In college, the software developer said she was the only woman in her classes of 30 people. Fessel is also hoping to empower young ladies and get them engaged in a male dominated profession.
“To see so many women in this class and getting involved is really great,” said Fessel.
TEALS, which is supported by Microsoft Philanthropies requires volunteers to go through 40-hours of training before hitting the classroom.
Those behind the project here in Northeast Ohio tell News 5 the goal is to have double the number of volunteers and be in more school districts in 2018.
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