Rutherford adds coding programs

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Rutherford is adding coding classes for students interested in a career in STEM. This year, Rutherford added a new class for students to learn Python coding and a “Girls Who Code” club.

“We have students who fall in love with it and they pick it up very quickly,” said Rutherford CTE teacher Jessica Brantley. “And so if they can get that industry certification, that’s something they can take with them and eventually get jobs after graduation.”

Brantley received a $50,000 grant from Florida Power and Light, which will be used to purchase materials for his coding course.

“Bringing the latest technology in desktop computers, laptops and tablets, additional 3D printers, laser cutters,” Brantley said. “We want kids to be exposed to all kinds of technology.”

Brantley also runs the “Girls Who Code” club. The club gives girls the opportunity to learn more about an area traditionally reserved for men.

“It really makes you feel special because you’re learning with all these girls who are really friendly and you have dates with them,” said Vanessa Mayberry, a seventh grader at Rutherford. “And you really get to know yourself and the program.”

Mayberry said the club gives the 19 girls the opportunity to learn skills they couldn’t learn at other schools.

“I’m hoping to gain the knowledge to be able to code properly and not make as many mistakes as I do right now while I’m learning,” Mayberry said.

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