Google exec, mayor visit STEM Academy in Ashburn

May 16, 2013 2:46:40 PM PDT
STEM Academy, a new school in the city's Ashburn neighborhood, focuses on math, science and technology.

Goode STEM Academy could be an avenue to a future in technology for the young men and women who make up the first class of freshmen. On Thursday, Google Executive Eric Schmidt and Rahm Emanuel visited the school, which the mayor hopes will lead to an investment in the city.

"Jobs are unfilled. We're having to get people from outside the country. We are not producing the skills. We have the people but we are not teaching them. The only way to solve that is start early," Schmidt said.

"There is a worldwide talent search going on. And everybody's on that race. And we have to make sure the children of the city of Chicago are well positioned for that race and if they're well positioned, the city of Chicago will be well positioned," Mayor Emanuel said.

Emanuel and Schmidt learned about programming a dice game. The hope is graduates of Goode will be ahead of the game- and would be able to walk into internships or jobs immediately.

"When I saw how you can make cartoons move and everything like that I got more into it and now I do projects on my own without homework or anything like that," Antonio Salagado, student, said.

"I want to build something that nobody has. And if I do build something, it's new. It's something entertaining that other people love," Raven Crump, student, said.

Preparing more young Chicagoans may also address a problem of diversity in tech industries, an industry that needs more women and people of color in order to thrive.

"The analytical skills that they are learning will serve them a lifetime. The future is a lot of data analysis what's going on...all of these industries are being transformed be exactly what these students are being taught," Schmidt said.


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