Watsonville Patch

Growing, from berries to tech

Launched in 2007 by ETR Associates, a Scotts Valley-based nonprofit focused on health, education and social service issues, Watsonville TEC (also known as ITEST project Animando a Estudiantes con Technologia) has grown from a small program serving middle school girls (known as the ITEST Girl Game Company) to include video game programming classes for middle school boys, separate computer skills tutorials for fifth graders and for parents, and expanded to more schools.

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TEC program director applauded

The under-representation of Latinos in fields like computer science and engineering troubled Watsonville TEC director Jacob Martinez and led him into a career where he teaches technology to students as early as the fifth grade.  Watsonville TEC (also known as ITEST project Animando a Estudiantes con Technologia) is an after school program that will be in 14 Watsonville elementary and middle schools this year.

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'Savvy' tech students coming from Watsonville schools

Watsonville High junior Stephanie Barraza won a national award for Aspirations in Computing from the National Center for Women and Information Technology in December. Barraza was one of 35 young women selected for the honor from more than 1,110 applicants, and she is just the next in a long line of Watsonville TEC graduates to garner accolades.

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