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Students coding at Emily Dickinson Elementary in Bozeman.

Nationwide, those who work in science, technology, engineering and math make almost twice as much as the average American, according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

STEM courses are rooted in classrooms at Emily Dickinson Elementary in Bozeman. The school is celebrating Computer Science Education Week.

Principal Sarah Hays says the school is adding more coding activities to the curriculum and helping students learn computer programming.

“In our library they’re doing quite a bit of that,” Hays said. “All kids will be doing that.”

“Since I got started, computers have become more and more important,” said U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, the school’s guest. “We need to be introducing our kids at this younger age about coding. It’s really every industry, every career would benefit from more coding experience.”

The Department of Labor reports more than 55,000 STEM workers in the state, and jobs are expected to increase.

The average salary for a Montana STEM worker is $68,695, compared to a non-STEM salary, which averages $36,643.

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