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Published March 14, 2013, 05:41 PM

North Dakota is partnering with Microsoft to expose everyone to technology

(WDAY TV) -- The State of North Dakota is partnering with Microsoft for a groundbreaking program - the first of its kind across the nation.

By: Katie Lange, WDAY , WDAY

(WDAY TV) -- The State of North Dakota is partnering with Microsoft for a groundbreaking program - the first of its kind across the nation.

It's aimed at helping students with college readiness, and learning 21st century skills.

Katie Lange: The joint effort is known as the Digital Alliance.

Kirsten Baesler/State Superintendent of Public Instruction: "It's a commitment of working together with Microsoft to create education, entrepreneurship and employ-ability for our students and all of north dakota."

In short - Microsoft will offer free programs they've designed to classrooms across the state that focus on science and technology. Programs like DigiGirlz and Dream Spark - It's an initiative the State's Superintendent of Public Instruction is proud to support.

Kirsten Baesler: "When we talk about stem we've have the science and the math and we've always had those, those are our bookends of what learning is, but the two in the middle technology and engineering which create stem, that's what makes learning fun."

Hands-on experiences that may even spark a child's interest in science as young as grade school.

Kristin Rhodes, Microsoft General Manager - U.S. Education: "Kodu is a programming language that actually enables children to create development games. They don't need sophisticated programming and it gets them excited about what they can do."

For many middle and high school students computers, tablets and cellphones are a part of their daily life, and the state and Microsoft say they know technology will play a pivotal role in the student's future.

A future that Don Morton, with Microsoft, hopes will span across the generations.

Don Morton, Microsoft Site Leader: "Taking the science and math courses, taking the technology courses. We don't have enough computer science majors We don't have enough electrical engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers at the college level."

Microsoft isn't just focusing on youth, it's also launching programs for

adults. The goal is to keep entrepreneurial businesses in the state, and even offer software grants to new companies.

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