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HCISD students build mobile apps in computer science program

In just a month, Vernon Middle School's new app building course has already changed the minds of its students.

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

In just a month, Vernon Middle School's new app building course has already changed the minds of its students.

"It really makes me think differently of what career I wanted, because I wanted to be an artist, but now I want to design games," said seventh-grader Dathan Treviño.

Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District's Project Lead the Way computer science program aims to show students a new outlet of careers and problem solving by way of computer science.

"We want kids to not only learn computer science principles and the aspects of coding, but to also be able to identify problems in the community that they can solve through the development of apps,” said HCISD assistant superintendent of secondary education Joseph Villarreal. “Also, utilizing computer science skills along the way."

Vernon Middle School's app creating course teaches students what goes into building an app and how to build their own. Teachers took a week-long crash course on the program MIT app inventor to prepare for the program. The district hopes to develop the cognitive skills that could create jobs that don't currently exist.

"These are going to be the jobs of the future,” Villarreal said. “If you want your child to be able to graduate from college and have a job, these are the areas they'll be successful in gaining employment."

Course teacher Humberto Salinas says students are learning how to code apps for Android. The average monthly revenue per Android app is $4,900, according to advertising company Inmobi.

HCISD plans to add new classes in cyber security next school year.

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