Statistics show a million coding jobs will be unfilled by the year 2020 and only 400,000 students will have graduated in computer science by then. Rock Valley College is trying to change that.

“The whole process they will learn today, in the matter of two hours, is how to actually program a robot to perform automatic functions,” said Rock Valley College President, Douglas Jensen.

Community leaders brought young learners to a new course on computer programing this Saturday at Rock Valley College called ‘Learning Coding With Robots’.

The course allows students, with the help of a tiny robot called an ‘Ozobot’, learn how to use code to make the robot change color and move in different directions. Rock Valley College computer science professor and teacher of the course, Charles Konkol, believes anybody can learn how to do it.
“The age range we’ve had since December, we’ve had one each month, at  ‘Learning Coding With Robots’, has been from six years old to 86 years old is the age range we’ve had,” Konkol said. “So literally anyone can learn, if they can follow instructions for an hour you’re good,” he added.

President Jensen believes that the course allows the learning of several different subjects to be enjoyable.

“The secret behind this is that actually you are teaching them science, engineering, (and) mathematics skills,” Jensen said. “So yes, they’re going to have fun, but there going to learn how to code, they’re going to learn how to write code,” he added.

 “I believe this morning is to get the community aware that coding is important. STEM and STEAM both are important in our K-12 curriculum,” Konkol said.  Konkol believes that coding is the future, and that parents should consider it as an option for their children’s education.
“Coding I think is something parents, maybe up to this point hasn’t been a selection for them possibly,” he said.  “It should be a selection, so I’m hoping to get that awareness out to folks as well,” he added.

The next ‘Learning Coding With Robots’ course will be on March 25th. Seats are still open and people can register for the course at