The Iowa Governor’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Advisory Council launched the third annual “Code Iowa” campaign with Google and Verizon on Oct. 20 to help bring computer science opportunities to students across the state. The two companies contributed $40,000 in support of the council’s program. Code Iowa is associated with Code.org’s international effort, called “Hour of Code,” and takes place early in December. An estimated 590,000 Iowans took part in the event last year and has doubled in participation since it began in 2013. During the Hour of Code, students learn and attempt coding to gain an understanding of how computers process information and how websites and devices use programming. This attempt is aimed at filling a labor gap in Iowa in regards to computer science careers. Our state has 3,580 open computing jobs with only 380 computer science graduates to fill them. “No matter the industry, information technology knowledge and skills are a modern day employment prerequisite akin to reading and writing,” said Kemin Industries President and CEO, Dr. Chris Nelson, a co-chair of the Stem Council. “From research to production to marketing and all facets of operations, computer science literacy has rapidly become a common denominator.” Schools and organizations looking to participate in Code Iowa from Dec. 5 to Dec. 11 can submit an application to the STEM Council to compete for one of six $3,500 technology awards. More information on those grants can be found by following the link included below and must be completed by Friday, Nov. 18.