Monday, December 06, 2010

Computer Science Education Week: December 5th-11th, 2010

This week is Computer Science Education Week, a national initiative designed to raise awareness of the importance of computer science education in the US and share activities and other resources for teaching computer science. It is also the birthday week of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneering computer scientist who wrote two programming languages and made numerous other contributions to the emerging field during the 1940s through the 1970s. 

Why is computer science important? According to CSEdWeek's website, the current number of students studying computer science will only fill 52 percent of the projected 1.4 million new computing jobs by 2018. Contributions in computer science shape other aspects of the economy, and are necessary to drive technological innovation. Studying computer science at any age helps kids build critical skills like creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and computer literacy in a digital age. And yet computer science programs are often overlooked and underfunded, leading to insufficient curricula, a lack of teacher training in computer science, and decreased gender and ethnic diversity in computer science programs and careers.

The CSEdWeek website has lots of resources to help advocates build a case for computer science education in and out of school time, including key facts, career guides, and activities for your classroom or program. They have also compiled a guide to events happening across the country promoting computer science. Plus, they're asking advocates to share their thoughts on Twitter (hashtag #CSEdWeek), Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Members of the Coalition for Science After School are working hard to promote computer science in out-of-school time in their communities. Here are just a few:
And there are lots of opportunities for participating in computer science-related programs in the Directory:
  • Girl TECH CORPS from TECH CORPS Ohio, a program that brings together girls interested in technology and mentors to learn age-appropriate technological skills
 If your program offers computer science activities, please share it in the Directory!

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