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A $20,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation through Project Lead the Way made it possible for Andrew Youngblood to teach an introduction to computer science at Carver Middle in Spartanburg School District Seven.
As part of the class, students learned how to write apps and programming.
The students programmed virtual robots.
On Thursday, Spartanburg Community College brought two humanoid robots to the class so the students could see their programming in action.
The students' programs made the robots move, dance and recite information.
"I had to take about three class periods making the program," said student Andrew Garcia. "I made it do a dance. It was cool."
Garcia said he believes the class is giving him a head start on his goal of becoming a computer program engineer.
"I thought I'd be doing this stuff in 10th grade or high school. I couldn't have imagined this," Garcia said.
Project Lead the Way is a nonprofit organization that works to shape future innovators, creators and designers.
"To be able to have an opportunity to have an impact on those young guy's lives is just tremendous," Youngblood said. "You don't know, one of these young people out here might make the next cutting edge app in the health industry or it could be something tied into tourism or entertainment."
Youngblood said the class helps students understand the electronic devices they use every day.
"Any type of electronic device a child has, there's software that drives it. There are people that have to write the software for it. There's a huge demand for jobs in coding. The whole purpose of this class is to get these guys excited about doing it," Youngblood said. "Some of the coding is a little dry, but when they see it being demonstrated with a humanoid robot, like a little person, it gets them excited about the potential of being a programmer one day."
More than half the class has already signed up to take the second level of the class in high school.