computer programming

Build STL Hackathon organizer Jonathon Leek loads up a project presentation on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at the 555 Building downtown.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Put coders and data experts together in a room, add in a desire to make St. Louis a better place, and hold for 48 hours. What do you get? Five altruistic apps and websites that are closer to becoming a reality.

OpenDataSTL, a tech-savvy group with a mission to make data more accessible, put on their second annual “Make St. Louis Better” hackathon this weekend at the 555 Building in downtown St. Louis.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Relatively speaking, not that many students take the Advanced Placement course in computer science.

Out of a little more than 2.3 million students for all subjects, fewer than 40,000 students took an exam for the course last year. While there was a slight uptick in the percentage of minority and female students, the data continue to show a jaw-dropping lack of racial and gender diversity.

Nationally, only 4 percent of all students who took the test were African American and just 20 percent were female.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis startup wants to provide schools with a curriculum, training and support to help teachers show students how to write computer code so they can land a good job even if they don't go to college.

To get an idea of why training students to write computer code should be a higher priority for schools, consider these numbers: