miguel cardona

CT Launches 2021 ‘Coding for Good' Challenge

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U.S. Secretary of Education nominee Miguel Cardona, the current commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education, took part in a news conference with Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz on the launch of the 2021 Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge

A news release from the lieutenant governor says that the challenge, “Coding for Good,” invites Connecticut students in grades three through 12 to “create technology applications designed to spread messages of positivity, tackle important issues or promote healthy habits.”  

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of schools early on, forcing teachers and students to adapt to online learning and Cardona discussed the impacts the coronavirus pandemic has had on everyone.

"This is an example of how opportunity can come out of crisis," he said. "This is an example where we can take what we've learned, what we've experienced collectively as a state and turn it into something where we can benefit from it."

There's opportunity out of crisis and this is, Cardona said, and this is putting students at the forefront of how to recover.

Cardona said that when you put students at the center, give them a platform and get out of their way, amazing things happen and technology is a platform through which the students can serve others.

"We recover, we heal together when we serve others," Cardona said.

Hector and Sarah Cardona have been preparing for their son to take a seat in the cabinet of the president of the United States. They’ve been proud of his accomplishments for a while, watching his rise from teacher to state education commissioner. But this latest accomplishment means more than they could’ve imagined.

Students are invited to make a submission to the concept challenge, the prototype challenge or the development challenge. Students can work individually or as a team to submit to one challenge. 

The challenge launches today and submissions will be accepted until April 30.

Bysiewicz noted that the participation in the challenge is about even between boys and girls for students up to fifth grade, but more boys than girls from the higher grades have participated.

Bysiewicz and Cardona was joined by Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Sibongile Magubane; Office of Higher Education Executive Director Tim Larson; John Emra, president of AT&T New England; Kate Maloney, executive director of Infosys Foundation USA; and Carolyn Alessi, state chairwoman of the Million Women Mentors Connecticut Chapter.

Alessi encouraged Black, Brown and Latina girls to enter the challenge and demonstrate their brilliance and challenge themselves.

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