Non-profit trains teachers to bring tech to school

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – To help meet a growing demand, an Indiana organization is helping get more tech classes in schools.

Students at Hamilton Southeastern High School are taking part in a new subject. For the first time, the school is offering an introduction into computer science.

“Any student in our high school can sign up and take the class and so it really has broadened the participants in computer science,” HSE teacher Julie Alano said.

Alano participated in a program this summer to teach the class, which she says students need.

“They may be developing that next ap, they may be coming up with that next medical solution because of the technology they’re using,” Alano said. “Or they could help solve all types of problems in the world with technology.”

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It’s not just Hamilton Southeastern High School benefiting from this program. In fact, for the first time, a number of area schools now have tech classes.

The group behind this is Nextech. It’s a non-profit aimed at narrowing the gap between the number of tech jobs, and people looking for them.

Nextech spent $130,000 to train 20 teachers. Now, eight central Indiana high schools offer a tech course.

“The statistics both nationally and locally tell us that there are going to be more computer related jobs than there are students to fill them,” Nextech executive director Karen Jung said. “Ultimately we want to find and inspire those individuals to pursue those careers in technology.”

Nextech officials hope to get more companies on board, so next year, even more schools will feature tech classes.

“This really is just the beginning,” Jung said. “We’re hoping to expand this in coming years. If we had 10 this year, how do we get to 30 next year? And keep growing that in the coming years?”

In all, teachers will train for 90 hours. And the group is already looking to fill positions for next year.

If you’re a teacher, parent, or even a student, interested in bringing the program to your school, click here.