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President, stars call for students to do more than play with their phone
By: Stephanie Guadian
EL PASO, Texas - President Barack Obama, Macklemore and Angela Bassett agree the future of our country could come down to computer code.
"Learning these skills isn't just important for your future," said Obama. "It's important for America's future."
It's Computer Science Education Week and there is a movement to get kids to do more than play on their phones.
Jon Cook, an associate professor of computer science at New Mexico State University, said we all know "we live in a digital world. So, programming and developing new applications and new software is incredibly important to society and to the future of our country."
NMSU's computer science department reaches out to Borderland students before they reach college.
"I learned about computer science through the Young Women and Computing camp," said Susana Bali. "It was actually a field I had never heard about before."
The department's goal is simple: encourage more young people to study a field that is more and more in demand.
"Computer scientists are among the highest paid people that go out into the industry today," Cook said.
Still, as NMSU student Samantha McGuinn knows firsthand, the field can sometimes be a tough sell.
"The math is the most difficult part," McGuinn said. "But that's the biggest hurdle. The coding isn't so much difficult itself."
To prove it, an initiative called The Hour of Code is asking every teacher in the U.S. this week to dedicate one hour to computer science and programming.
It may not seem like much, but according to Code.org, nine out of 10 schools in the U.S. don't offer computer science classes, a statistic that may come as a shock when you realize code may be the most important language of the future.