U.S. Sen. Cornyn visits Ann Richards School to code with students

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John Cornyn Ann Richards School U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) sits with Ann Richards School for Young Women students who are coding on laptops Feb. 8.[/caption]

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, came to the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders on Feb. 8 to tour classrooms and sit down with students to code an “e-valentine” on laptops.

The event was part of Google’s Made With Code initiative, a program to get girl students more involved with computer science education so they may consider a future tech career. About 160 sixth-grade girls from Ann Richards School gathered around laptops in the cafeteria to code as Cornyn provided feedback.

“What you’re doing now is preparing for your future education and laying a strong foundation,” Cornyn said to the students. “We need more girls, more young women, involved with science, technology, engineering and math. Those are good, high paying jobs that you can support yourself [with] and contribute to your family.”

Gerardo Interiano, Google head of external affairs, said the outreach to girls has to start at an early age, ideally in middle school. Doing so gets the girls to understand that coding involves more than just using a computer, he said.

“Coding is something that’s going to expose them to a technology and coding language that is implemented in so many parts of their lives,” Interiano said.

Ann Richards School, with students in grades sixth through 12th, specializes in science, technology, engineering, art and math, according to Austin ISD.

“Sen. Cornyn has been a huge champion of STEM education throughout his career in the Senate, so we’re excited to be partnering with him to bring the Made With Code program to Ann Richards School, a school known for their tracks on engineering, media and technology,” Interiano said.