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TWIN FALLS • Students were greeted by loud techno music as they filed into the Roper Auditorium on Monday.

The entire student body of Twin Falls High School attended kick-off assemblies for the nationwide “Hour of Code,” coinciding with Computer Science Education Week.

The hour was intended to introduce students to coding in an engaging way.

“Code is basically a creative and logical way of communicating with the computer,” 16-year-old Ethan Alexander explained to his classmates.

He was among a few students in Jason Torgrimson’s information technology program who led two assemblies.

Demand is growing for workers trained in coding, Delaney Fitzgerald, 16, said during one assembly. But many high-paying jobs go unfilled.

“It’s up to you guys to fill the gap,” she told classmates.

Few women work in computer science field, Delaney said, and college scholarships are available.

The school’s IT program ranges from introductory classes to Advanced Placement computer science, she said.

Omar Laris, 16, who also helped lead the assembly, has taken many computer science classes and is interested in becoming a software engineer.

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The job outlook in computer science is strong, Torgrimson told the Times-News.

Learning to code helps students, too, as it requires precision and good organizational skills, he said. “It teaches problem-solving. It’s very abstract.”

Thursday and Friday, Twin Falls High students will try their hand at coding during their advisory classes.

Students at Vera C. O’Leary Middle School also are participating in the “Hour of Code” this week. And at Bickel Elementary, 45 students on the robotics team will receive a lesson today.

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