Students from Knox County Schools, Oak Ridge City Schools and area private schools joined together on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, breaking the world record for number of students learning how to code at the same time.

The idea to attempt a Guinness World Record was the brainchild of Brandon Bruce, co-founder and chief operating officer of Cirrus Insight, and Caleb Fristoe, project manager of CodeTN—a Great Schools Partnership initiative that organizes coding clubs, camps and competitions at area schools. The effort is heavily supported by Knox County Schools and its Educational Technology and Information Technology departments.

Approximately 67 percent of new jobs in STEM are in computing, which is the largest and fastest growing source of new wages in the U.S., with 500,000 jobs currently available.

“Computer Science will provide the blue-collar work of the future, and by starting today, we can equip our students with the necessary skills to compete for those jobs,” Fristoe said.

During the world record attempt, all students learned how to code using Scratch, a web application developed by MIT.