What is it?

Code @ KEC is a collective of code-centric events, designed to help teach and promote technology and programming to Knoxville’s youth, through key partnerships with private companies and non-profits in East Tennessee.

Who is it for?

Youth in rural and underserved areas attending elementary, middle, and high schools in Knoxville and East Tennessee.


Access to technology is critical to the continuing evolution of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Helping kids understand technology, and even write code, can potentially help them secure highly competitive jobs.

Program History

KEC will have helped over 250 students become familiar with coding languages, and more importantly, what they can do with that knowledge. Many of those who will come through the programs live in rural and underserved communities where access to technology has been historically difficult. KEC has already seen great success with these programs, and looks to have an ever growing impact, year-to-year.

Yearly Programming

Code + Craft – an introductory and mid-level program teaching middle-school students to write Python. The goal is to have students develop their own game by the end of the program. Code + Craft will also be introducing a Minecraft edition in the coming months.

Code Camps – a partnership with KEC and the Tennessee Code Academy, Code Camps are taught at regional high schools, either as multi-day sessions on weekends, or as an extension of STEM learning during the regular school day. We have Code Camps scheduled for Roane County High School and Grainger County High School, and will be adding additional camps this fall.

Pond Gap Elementary – an extension of our Code + Craft effort, but designed to engage even younger students. Instruction will be offered during normal class hours, and will look to create an enthusiasm for and understanding of the importance of learning code as a way to communicate with the world.

CodeStock Academy – through our work with the CodeStock organization, KEC has developed a one-day academy for students whose parents are attending the CodeStock Conference, the Southeast’s preeminent developer conference held in May here in Knoxville. We anticipate over 50 students will participate in this year’s Academy, many of whom are already experienced at coding.

Discovery Lab Global – our second year running this program in partnership with Project Grad and Code TN (part of the Great Schools Partnership), Discovery Lab Global is a live and online class that introduces at-risk high-school students to programming and coding concepts in a collaborative, entrepreneurial environment. Last year, 10 students from Central and Austin-East High Schools participated in the 2-week immersive program, learning coding, Virtual Reality and entrepreneurship. This year, we expect to double enrollment by our June launch date.

Gold Sponsor

Code @ KEC Partners