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Toronto— India’s Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, celebrated its first Canadian goIT Student Technology Awareness Program at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute recently. TCS worked with the Toronto District School Board to implement the innovative program in ten Toronto schools this fall. Also Read - At $19.5 Billion, Tata is The Most Valuable Brand: Report

“TCS believes strongly in impact through empowerment,” said Akhilesh Tripathi, Head of Canada, TCS. “Not only will these young people have more career choices, Canada’s ICT industry will also benefit from having a local skilled labour force.” Also Read - TCS developed PAN system for I-T in 1977, Charan Singh was not impressed: Book

goIT is an in-class, hands-on curriculum for grade eight and nine students to learn about computer programming, coding and robotics, and gain an understanding of possible careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. 1,250 Toronto students will have participated in TCS’ inaugural Canadian program by the end of November.

“goIT programs are helping students see the connections between their studies, the world beyond high school and their future careers,” said Liz Sandals, Minister of Education. “Working with partners like Tata Consultancy Services we are ensuring that learning is even more compelling, and allowing our students to become the innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. Through programs like goIT, we’re helping more students gain the skills, knowledge and confidence for future careers in Computer Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”

In 2009, TCS launched the goIT program in the US to address the problem of decreasing university enrolment in STEM related careers. It has since expanded to ten US cities and so far engaged more than 7,500 middle and high school students. TCS Canada applied goIT best practices and worked with Canada’s Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) to develop a further customized program addressing the needs of Canadian students.

For the program in the Toronto District Schools, students code using the latest icon-based programming languages, including Lego Mindstorms at the eighth grade level and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) App Inventor at the ninth grade level. In the process, goIT participants acquire critical thinking and problem solving skills, while troubleshooting designs and adopting the agile methodology.

This story originally appeared on The Weekly Voice.