Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is upon us! Organized by Code.org and held in recognition of trailblazing computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hooper’s birthday (December 9, 2016), CSEdWeek is dedicated to inspiring students of all ages to take an interest in computer science! Students are also encouraged to try an “Hour of Code” – a one-hour tutorial (available in over 45 languages) geared towards showing students just how fun programming can be!
What you need to know about U.S. computer science education:
There are more than 500,000 unfilled computing jobs in the United States, yet only 42,969 computer science graduates from U.S. universities entered the workforce in 2015. Only 40% percent of K-12 schools teach computer science courses, and only 32 states allow these courses to count towards graduation requirements. Furthermore, new research from Google and Gallup reveals that there are serious issues related to racial and gender diversity in the field. While black and hispanic students are more likely to be interested in learning computer science, these students have less exposure to computers. The same research revealed similar issues when it comes to girls – boys are 1.5 times as likely to be told they’d be good at computer science by teachers and 1.7 times as likely to receive the same encouragement from parents. Boys are also twice as likely to see someone like them doing computer science in the media.
Get involved with #CSEdWeek!
When it comes to encouraging a love for computer science, or any STEM subject for that matter, it’s important to start early. A recent survey asked a group of 1,000 middle school students around the U.S. if they preferred math homework or eating broccoli. The winner? Broccoli (by 56 percent).
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get your kids interested in coding and STEM from a young age. There are toys, coding programs and afterschool programs all geared towards generating interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Additionally, check out this list of resources created especially for Computer Science Education Week.
While putting the focus on computer science is certainly important this week, it’s important to encourage children to pursue careers in computer science and other STEM fields year round. At Teza Technologies, Misha Malyshev and his team are working to inspire the next-generation of computer scientists and STEM heroes through the support of organizations like Adler Planetarium, buildOn and After-School All-Stars.