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Google, Michigan to amp up computer science in schools

will put students on the track to high paying jobs closer to home, she said.

Students from DeWitt’s Scott Elementary School joined participants from 15 districts who participated in Thursday’s launch. Connie Jones’ fourth-grade students said they preferred exploring the 10 different learning stations inside the Breslin to their typical Thursday agenda.

“My favorite part was the gaming and getting to design my own game on the iPad,” said Johnny Keewers. His classmate, Lydia Castle, said she preferred the virtual reality headsets.

Jones and Mary Wever, a former East Lansing teacher, paired up to form Scott Elementary’s Creative Computing Club for 40 fourth-grade students. Wever left her teaching job a few years ago to obtain her master’s in educational technology. She now helps teachers and parents how to think more creatively about the technology in their schools or homes.

“Students are super excited to learn more about technology,” she said. “Often we’ve found that kids don’t know that they can play a part in creating a lot of the things they enjoy (such as video games).”

While a group of students design and play through their own video game levels, Wever reaches for a binder filled with paper diagrams. Opening an app on her phone, she hovers it over a 2D diagram of a heart.

A full-color 3D image of a heart, complete with noises and moving blood flow, pops up. Students nearby quickly huddle around her, as she delves into one of the heart’s main arteries to show how blood moves through the various chambers of the heart.

“Anybody can run a club like ours,” Wever said. “You help the kids watch the videos, get them into the program, and watch as they learn.”

Contact RJ Wolcott at (517) 377-1026 or Follow him on Twitter@wolcottr.

Learn more:

To learn how you or your student’s school can sign up for the CS First program, check out the Michigan Film and Digital Media Office’s information packet at