October 8, 2023


Coding, Collaboration, and Competition: Inside the Youth Coding League


It was August 29th and the anticipation in the Ada Jobs Foundation Conduit offices was palpable. Twelve fifth and sixth graders from three different schools in Pontotoc County opened their Chromebooks nervously, excited to begin their journey into the Youth Coding League (YCL). It was something they had never heard of before. While there are over 85 teams nationwide, in ten different states, this had never been done before in Oklahoma. The idea of a competitive coding team for middle schoolers was a new concept in the area. But nevertheless, even though this was unfamiliar territory, the Conduit Coders were ready to jump in headfirst, learn about coding and computer science, and make their community proud.

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Last week, Daniel Castaneda attended WEFTEC in Chicago. WEFTEC stands as the premier global event in the field of water quality, offering a platform for experts and enthusiasts alike to delve into the latest advancements and challenges in the water industry. The event, organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), encompasses a diverse array of technical sessions, workshops, and presentations covering pivotal topics such as water treatment processes, water quality analysis, environmental sustainability, stormwater management, and emerging water technologies.


The Ada Jobs Foundation attends this show in order to meet with companies in the water tech industry, learn about emerging water technologies, and build relationships with other water innovation cluster leaders. For the last decade, the Ada Jobs Foundation has identified water tech as a target industry and has supported local efforts to collaborate and build a water innovation cluster for this region with the City of Ada, Oka’ Institute at East Central University, the Chickasaw Nation, and the EPA’s Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center. This show is an important opportunity to pitch Ada as a location for water tech businesses and for our organization to build intelligence about the industry each year.


Through the event, Daniel had an opportunity to see a pitch competition featuring innovative solutions for industrial challenges and treatment technologies. The rapid advancement of AI technology has revolutionized the landscape of wastewater treatments, transforming the way we approach water management. Among the top contenders was hydroEYE AI, a platform utilizing real-time sensor data and AI-driven insights to oversee distributed water assets, including sewers, drains, meters, and decentralized water treatment skids. Their innovative approach indicates a new era in efficient and intelligent water management solutions, showcasing the power of AI in revolutionizing the water industry.


Our second technology community meetup took place last week on October 5th at The Lot. The event continued to grow in attendance, with over a dozen technology and IT professionals who work in Ada. Jake Cantrell, Scalable Investment Associate with the Ada Jobs Foundation, provided a brief presentation on the results of a recent Technology Talent Survey of employers in the Ada-area. The next meetup event is scheduled for Thursday, November 9th, with more details to follow.


Ada Jobs Foundation



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