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Microsoft event held in Kindred hoping to spark interest in STEM careers

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KINDRED N.D.—To most of us "coding" sounds confusing and complicated.

Thanks to an initiative from Microsoft it's actually encouraging students to think about STEM careers.

Imagine 450 kids in one gym for an hour; sounds like it could be total chaos, but, that wasn't the case Friday afternoon in Kindred.

It was all about interactive learning for these elementary students.

What looks like a fun game is a part of Microsoft's Hour of Code Event.

"The way our world is changing, technology is so important. To be able to get kids up and to utilize this technology is definitely key," said Taya Spelhaug, Microsoft.

The event is trying to get more kids engaged in computer science and STEM program and bring computer science to rural areas.

"By 2020, we're going to have 1.4 million jobs that are computer based, and we're only going to have about 400,000 kids actually graduating with that. We have a big deficit," said Spelhaug.

All this may have you asking yourself, what exactly is coding?

"Coding is the language that computers use to make apps and websites and all those things," said Spelhaug.

With Governor Burgum, a tech expert himself being the guest of honor, he says programs like this are exactly what he's trying to see across the state, inspiring a new age of North Dakotans.

"Magic of software is changing the world, and we need to have the next generation of students that understand how it

works and understand that they can be a part of it," said Gov. Burgum.

So for all we know, we could be looking at the next tech genius right here in this gym.

Kindred's event was the largest 'Hour of Code' across the country.

Cassandra Rohlfing

After working part time at WDAY-TV during her college career, Cassandra – who goes by Cassie, joined the WDAY news team full-time in January as an Online Editor/Weekend Producer. She switched over to Reporter/Multimedia Journalist in June and is excited to work on stories you want to see!  She was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, ND and is part Turtle Mountain Chippewa. Cassie graduated from  North Dakota State University in December of 2015 with a degree in Journalism, and an emphasis in Broadcasting. Cassie bleeds green and gold and is an avid Bison Football fan who attended every home game in her college career, thanks to being a part of the Gold Star Marching Band. Her hobbies include binge watching TV shows on Netflix, attempting to work out, and getting outside when she can. If you have any questions/story ideas feel free to email or call. 

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