GC students tour SF tech companies

GRAVES AND CARRELL EARN HIGHEST HONORS – Pictured are Ethan Carrell, GCHS Dev Catalyst teacher Adam Kuykendall – “Top Coding Teacher” and Mikalya Graves. (Photo by Lori Cathey)

by Lori Cathey

Gibson County High School students Mikalya Graves and Ethan Carrell were awarded by theCO with an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco for earning the highest honors in the Dev Catalyst program. Both will start their summer break in San Francisco touring tech companies. Some of the companies students will tour include LinkedIn, Google, Pivotal and Facebook. GCHS Dev Catalyst teacher Adam Kuykendall earned an educator award, “Top Coding Teacher,” and also was awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco.

Graves and Carrell had to create a five-page website with programming languages, README file, photos, and had to work in teams of three to create the website. They also had to complete a video interview. Graves’s team members were Daphne Legrone and Tori Sims. Her winning website was To The Last Drop Coffee Shoppe. Mikalya is the daughter of Dawn Graves of Humboldt and James Graves of Humboldt. Carrell’s team members were Garrett Hankins and Timothy Callins. His winning website was Gibson County High School Band. Ethan is the son of Amber Gammon of Rutherford and Jody Carrell of Dyer.

This year’s program included 22 schools throughout Tennessee, with over 700 students competing in four tiers of involvement: Novice Web Development, App Development, Advanced Web Development and Raspberry Pi Project categories. Only 23 area high school students were awarded the trip to San Francisco. This was the first year for Gibson County High School to offer the Dev Catalyst program to the student body.

theCO is a community of entrepreneurs, tinkerers, engineers, creatives, students and developers encouraging economic growth, business development and coding education in West Tennessee.

“theCO is thrilled to be able to reward, encourage and support these students,” theCO CEO Ben Ferguson says. “To have such diversity within our winners is a testament to moving West Tennessee forward. The support placed on the Dev Catalyst program by administrators, local leaders, parents and most importantly, the educators, is critical in its present and future success.” In its fourth year, the Dev Catalyst program provides students access to high quality, industry-relevant tech education.

Dev Catalyst began in 2013 with the mission of improving technology education and growing tech talent among West Tennessee students. Through Dev Catalyst, middle and high school students use a web platform to teach them up-to-date coding languages enabling them to build a website, create a web application, learn maker tech, and cultivate marketable career skills. By the end of their first year, students have learned programming languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript.

Dev Catalyst is a program through theCO that utilizes Treehouse, a web platform that teaches students to build websites and code. Students go through Treehouse at their own pace, earning badges and completing a project to earn a certain number of points.

Schools participating in West Tennessee this year were Bartlett High School, Chester County High School, Gibson County High School, Hancock High School, Hardin County High School, Humboldt High School, Jackson Christian School, JCM Early College High, KIPP: Memphis Collegiate High School, Lexington High School, Liberty Technology High School, Madison Academic High School, North Side High School, Peabody High School, Sacred Heart High School, Scotts Hill High School, South Gibson County High School, Southside High School, Trinity Christian Academy and University School of Jackson.

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