Inspiring youth to become the next, best Minnesota-grown technologists

Helping middle- and high-school students discover, explore and engage in the world of information technology (IT)

final_itdiscoverylogoDeveloping and nurturing IT talent does not begin with a college internship. Long before students even know they want to work in IT, they show interest in tech-related activities. IT Discovery Network is a collaborative venture of IT professionals supported by Advance IT Minnesota. We help users discover, explore, and engage in IT learning experiences that grow their technology skills, and to be exposed to individuals and organizations who are passionate about the IT profession. The goal is to support students and give them resources to make informed decisions about their future learning and career options.

The  IT Discovery Network offers a continuum of initiatives where students and others learn about IT career areas.

IT Discovery Network Partners and Programs

Abamath

Twin Cities, Grades 3-6
We do for coding what little league does for baseball. We run epic robotics and coding classes through partnerships with community education programs in Minnesota with all of the excitement of a sport.

Abamath

Best Buy Teen Tech Center

Twin Cities, ages 12-19
A space for teens to use new technologies with help from other teens and adult mentors, and then share their work with other teens across the globe through the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network. Technology and multimedia tools are available for music and video production, interactive programming, digital photography, graphic design, and much more.

Best Buy Teen Tech Center

DigiGirlz

Twin Cities & online, Grades 9-12
DigiGirlz, a Microsoft YouthSpark program, gives high school girls the opportunity to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees, and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops.

  • High Tech Camps
  • Digigirlz Day
  • On-line classes
DigiGirlz

Coder Dojo

Various locations
Free, mentored coding environment and events for youth.

CoderDojo Twin Cities, ages 8-17
Youth under 13 must have a parent present for entire event.

CoderDojo Twin Cities

CoderDojo at SW High, ages 13-17
Youth under 13 must have a parent present for entire event.

CoderDojo at SW High

Tonka CoderDojo, ages 13-17

Tonka CoderDojo

Northfield CoderDojo, ages 8-18

Northfield CoderDojo

WingerDojo, ages 7-17

WingerDojo

CoderDojo Southern Minnesota, ages 8-17
Youth under 13 must have a parent present for entire event.

CoderDojo Southern Minnesota

Katie CoderDojo, ages 8-16
Youth under 13 must have a parent present for entire event.

Katie CoderDojo

Code Savvy 

Twin Cities
A not-for-profit organization inspiring kids and teens to become code-savvy, that is, to understand the kind of creative thinking that goes into coding, and to try out programming computers and devices. Core Programs:

  • Code Camps — Wide variety of summer programming for youth
  • Technovation Challenge –Young women ages 12-18 design and code mobile apps as they participate in this global coding and entrepreneurial challenge + the festive Appapalooza
  • Code Clubs — youth learn to code after school at community sites.  Code Savvy has launched code clubs and coding events at several locations in North Minneapolis in 2015, and plans to expand to other communities.
  • MN Coding in the Classroom Leadership Cohort— K-8 teachers and after school educators explore integrating coding into the curriculum and develop skill in coding and creative problem solving through hands-on workshops.
  • Learn to code— advice on online resources for beginning coders.
Code Savvy

Digital Empowerment Academy

Twin Cities, priority to North Minneapolis students, ages 13-17
The Digital Empowerment Academy is a digital literacy, civic technology initiative that works to enable youth to become savvy creators of digital content. Cohorts of students work through a curriculum.

Digital Empowerment Academy

Genesys Works

Twin Cities, Grade 12/seniors in partner high schools
Genesys Works changes the life trajectory of underprivileged high school students by enabling them to work in meaningful internships, at major corporations, during their senior year in high school. After an eight-week intensive training program, students work at one of our client companies where they discover that they can indeed succeed as professionals in the corporate world.

Genesys Works

Girls in Tech

Minneapolis, Grade 12/senior girls
Description: Girls in Tech Minneapolis is a social network for women in technology based fields focused on connecting, educating and empowering. We join together to help each other learn, grow, and excel. What does Girls in Tech have for youth?

  • Youth-orientated events
  • Mentors
  • Resources
Girls in Tech

High Tech Kids

Statewide
We work hard to offer high energy, fun, team-based programs and competitions that celebrate science and technology. Grants to support core programs:

  • MN FIRST LEGO League
  • MN FIRST Tech League
  • MN Jr. FIRST LEGO League
High Tech Kids

Leonardo’s Basement

Minneapolis, ages 6-99
Leonardo’s Basement is a one-of-a-kind creative learning environment for “kids” of all ages to design and build from their imagination. Sign up for classes, offer birthday parties, etc.

Leonardo’s Basement

Mad Science of Minnesota

Twin Cities, ages pre-K to high school
Provide hands-on science experiments for children to be as entertaining as it is educational.

Mad Science of Minnesota

Reve Academy

Minneapolis, Grades 5-12
To help students dream with direction by providing pathways to digital careers.
Core programs:

  • Reve Edu – basic web design elements
  • Reve Dev – business skills
  • Reve Retail – digital marketing skills
Reve Academy

STEM FUSE

Online, Grades K-12
Play, build, and learn Game Development! Play fun, app-friendly games and earn badges to be the best. Build a drag-and-drop math-centered baseball game. Learn the basic concepts of Game Development and STEM theory.

STEM FUSE

The Works

Twin Cities, ages pre-K to adult
Museum, summer camps and other activities to make engineering fun with hands-on activities, real tools, and everyday materials!

The Works

Career Resources

MN IT Careers
IT Career Finder
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Additional Resources for Girls

Technovation
She++