(TNS) — Two years ago, Nick Poels decided he wanted K-12 students in his rural Kansas community of 2,500 to learn to code. Kids in Phillipsburg soon had a brand-new computer lab, and Poels hoped 20 or 30 children might use it.
“Within two weeks of school starting, we had 351 students involved,” he said.
Poels quickly realized he had touched on something.
At the time he was the economic development director for Phillips County, in north-central Kansas. Now he’s working with nonprofit NetWork Kansas on a new project to bring computer science education to K-12 schools across the state, with support from the Kansas Department of Commerce.
The first focus of his new project, dubbed Ignister, is to push for computer science classes to count as a core curriculum toward high school graduation in Kansas. He believes those…