Presented by Startup AZ Foundation, Code Day Arizona is a 24-hour statewide coding event that puts the focus on engaging young adults in underserved populations and areas with limited technical resources.

Code Day Arizona will be held the weekend of Feb. 13 to 14, 2016, at University of Advancing Technology, in collaboration with State Farm, Go Daddy, Student RND and Valley Leadership.

This event will focus on bringing students in from cities and towns across the state of Arizona in an effort to promote technical skills among youth and make Arizona a technology hub for the future.

As an educational institution, UAT is aware of the lack of students enrolled in computer science and STEM-related degrees and supports community outreach events like Code Day Arizona increasing the chances for the younger generation to spark an interest in technology.

According to Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google, “By 2020, the United States will have 1.4 million computer science jobs, according to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with only 400,000 computer scientists to fill them.”

UAT President Jason Pistillo said, “To echo Casap’s quote, for some time now there’s been more demand for programming graduates from industry than students enrolled in Computer Science majors to fill the deficiency in the job market. When we look out across the census data, we realize that there are simply not enough young people engaging in this amazing field, to create the passion before they enter college. We’ve decided to get proactive and make a concerted effort to help; from our longstanding support of schools like EVIT, our sponsorship of the 2015 Great Arizona Code Challenge, to evangelizing the need for a greater focus on STEM education, to hosting Code Day Arizona, the first statewide coding event at our technology-infused campus. We aim to fix the root cause of this national problem and encourage both young females and males to enter into STEM fields.”

Code Day is a 24-hour event that challenges groups of student’s ages 9 to 20 to form teams to build amazing applications over a 24-hour hacking period.

The purpose of Code Day Arizona is to expose youth to future career opportunities that are available in the fields of information technology and coding.

The event is a little bit like “Shark Tank,” and lot like “How it’s Made” where students pitch ideas from video games to apps and work with mentors to take their ideas from concept to reality in 24 hours.

The event also engages the support of nearly 80 tech mentors from local technology companies and startups, as well as nearly 100 volunteers overall. Mayors and government leadership from cities all across Arizona have been provided with scholarships to send students from their communities to this statewide event. Girls who wish to attend can do so for free using the promotional code: “GIRLSCODE”

Code Day Arizona begins at noon on Saturday, February 13, and concludes at noon Sunday, February 14, 2016, at the University of Advancing Technology, 2625 W. Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283.

“We are thrilled to host the largest state-wide code day ever,” said Dr. David Bolman, provost, University of Advancing Technology. “I can’t wait to see what these young students, who come together from all points of Arizona, create while being immersed in tech for 24 hours on our campus. As we look at workforce development in Arizona, it is beyond clear that to be truly competitive nationally in filling the vast need for STEM positions; we must invest early in our young talent. Code Day Arizona is a critical, exciting and must-do initiative that lights up young people towards a future that we are absolutely counting on.”