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New tech partnership brings coding, drone programming classes to Memphis kids

Memphis Commercial Appeal

Published 6:00 a.m. CT Nov. 21, 2017 | Updated 10:42 a.m. CT Nov. 21, 2017

Nov. 11, 2017 - Ariel Thompson, 12, controls a drone with a computer during a CodeCrew activity at Chandler Park in the Soulsville and Cummings area. Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal

Young students in Memphis can learn coding, robotics and drone programming in a new partnership that is offering free classes at Chandler Park in Soulsville.

CodeCrew, a non-profit computer science and mentoring organization, is partnering with Building Box, a company that creates mobile tech classrooms from shipping containers.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to help these kids learn more about technology and show them how they can use their imaginations to accomplish anything,” said CodeCrew Executive Director Meka Egwuekwe. “We are thrilled to partner with Building Box to help bring such an innovative concept to Chandler Park.”

An after school program that includes robotics and mobile app development is scheduled to run from Nov. 27 to Dec. 12 with third, fourth and fifth graders meeting on Mondays and grades six through 12 meeting on Tuesdays. The program is scheduled from 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Students in grades six through 12 can also learn how to program drones from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on two Saturdays, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. Drone programming competitions with prizes are also planned.

"Our team is excited to help bring coding, robotics, 3D printing, and drone training to Soulsville," said Building Box founder Wilson Waller. "The partnership with CodeCrew has created a world class opportunity for students and young adults to get hands-on education in the skill sets that are driving today’s tech-driven economy, right here in South Memphis.”

Egwuekwe said that learning how to produce technology is essential for preparing students for 21st century opportunities.

"We believe that coding and computer science in general is just as important as reading, writing and arithmetic," he said.

November 11, 2017 - Yolanda Thompson, second from left, with CodeCrew, helps students program their drones during a CodeCrew meet up at Chandler Park in the Soulsville and Cummings area.

The program is funded by the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation.

For more information contact or call 901-229-1720.

Check out The Commercial Appeal article here


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