(From Left to Right: NVCC STEM Academic Division Director Dr. Peter Angelastro, New Britain Superintendent of Schools Kelt Cooper, CT Pre-Engineering Program (CPEP) CEO Bruce Dixon, New Britain High School students and CPEP participants Joey Bechard (9th Grade) and Jessica Yanez (12th Grade), New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, NVCC President Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis) (contributed photo)
NEW BRITAIN, CT – On Monday, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) joined New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, Naugatuck Valley Community College President Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Starbase CT Executive Director Melissa Vanek, New Britain Superintendent Kelt Cooper, and highs school students involved in CT Pre-Engineering Program at a press conference at New Britain High School to launch a “design your own app” competition for high school students, the U.S. House Student App Challenge.
“The U.S. House Student App Challenge is an opportunity for students to be creative and get excited about computer programming,” said Esty. “Jobs in computer programming and design are expected to grow by 50% in the next few years. Manufacturing is the backbone of Connecticut’s economy. We have exciting job opportunities in high-tech manufacturing, but I’ve heard time and time again from manufacturers that they can’t find workers with the right skill sets. Our students need to be prepared for the jobs of the 21st century, and this competition will help students gain experience with computer programming at a young age. I look forward to hearing about their creative ideas and trying out some new apps.”
Esty is a co-founder of the U.S. House Student App Challenge, the first annual nationwide congressional STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) academic competition. Esty serves on the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and has focused on supporting STEM education. She introduced the STEM Jobs Act to support teacher professional development in the STEM fields.