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PRESS RELEASE: Central Maine Tech Night Features Cyber Panthers’ Pilot Program with Center for Curriculum Redesign at Waterville Senior High School

February 19, 2019

WATERVILLE, ME, February 19 – The executive director of Waterville Senior High School’s Cyber Panthers program, an innovative computer science elective course, will showcase the program at Central Maine Tech Night’s upcoming TechTalk.

Kim Quinn Hutchinson will present to an audience of software engineers, tech-based entrepreneurs, and educators, and members of the public are welcome to attend. The monthly Tech Night event will be held on February 21 from 5-6:30pm at Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space in Hathaway Creative Center (10 Water Street, Waterville). Refreshments will be served.

The Cyber Panthers program was formed in conjunction with the Center for Curriculum Redesign, a global non-profit leading the conversation on what students should learn in the 21st century. Hutchinson, citing a Code.org Maine fact sheet, states there are currently “939 open computing jobs in Maine, which is 2.3 times the average demand rate in the state.” Cyber Panthers will prepare its students to close this skilled workforce gap.

The first-of-its-kind pilot program will engage ninth-graders at Waterville Senior High School in app development, artificial intelligence, digital humanities, cyber security, gaming, and virtual and augmented reality.

These computer science skills are increasingly in demand in the greater Waterville region, where technology-based firms and startups continue to grow. From application development and management at IT firms to genetic testing at the GenoTyping Center of America laboratory, businesses in downtown Waterville are founded upon the technical content which the Cyber Panthers curriculum provides.

“Human capital is the driving force behind commercial success,” explains Garvan D. Donegan, director of planning and economic development at Central Maine Growth Council. “When businesses make a location decision, a key consideration is the ease of finding qualified talent. The Cyber Panthers program joins greater Waterville’s spectacular educational institutions – including Colby College, Kennebec Valley Community College, and Thomas College – in preparing local workforce for 21st century careers.”

The Cyber Panthers program at Waterville Senior High School is funded by the Harold Alfond Foundation, and the curriculum is developed by the Center for Curriculum Redesign. Those interested in learning more about this cutting-edge pilot are encouraged to attend Central Maine Tech Night on February 21.

Central Maine Growth Council

CMGC is the leading public/private catalyst and resource for economic development in Central Maine. The growth council is dedicated to fostering a robust regional economy through successful collaborative partnerships among businesses, governments, academic institutions, health care facilities, arts and cultural agencies, and residents primarily in the communities of Waterville, Winslow, Fairfield, and Oakland. The benefit is a highly desirable place in which to enjoy an outstanding work-life balance.

Last modified: February 19, 2019

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