Chick Tech Missoula has received a $1,500 grant from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to collaborate with Flagship Missoula to help provide after-school coding programs to students at four Missoula elementary schools.

Chick Tech Missoula fund-raising director Kathryn Grady said Chick Tech is a nationwide program.

"This organization ,based out of Portland, Oregon, works to get girls into the pipeline for STEM careers," Grady said. "One of the women here in Missoula, June Noel, came up with the idea to open a Chick Tech branch here in Missoula. It's not just for women and girls, but for kids in general, especially for students interested in the STEM program, computer science and robotics."

Grady said the program is especially tailored for elementary school students.

"I'll be working over the next five months on getting students in first grade through fifth grade introduced into computer science and computer programming," she said. "We decided to focus our efforts on some key programs in a few elementary schools to build out some proof of concept, see what works and hopefully scale it out over time."

After school coding clubs will be offered at the schools starting in Winter 2017. The clubs will meet in four-week, one-hour sessions; the curriculum will come from code.org and madewithcode.com. Students will also view inspirational career videos to get exposed to cool career opportunities for coders

Anyone interested in more information about the Chick Tech program can get more information here.