The Citadel joins national initiative to introduce students to computer science
To kick off national Computer Science Education Week, the White House is recognizing a Year of Action Supporting Computer Science for All. As part of the initiative, The Citadel will offer teacher professional development opportunities and engage middle school students in coding education from Dec. 5 - 11, 2016.
"We are so excited to be able to support the Lowcountry and the state of South Carolina's initiative to infuse computer science into all schools," said Director of the STEM Center of Excellence at The Citadel, Jennifer Albert, Ph.D. "South Carolina Superintendent of Education, Molly Spearman, has advocated for an Hour of Code in every school, and we have been able to help a large number of schools achieve that in the Charleston area."
The Citadel will participate in the following activities during Computer Science Education Week:
- Monday, Dec. 5 - Hour of Code at Lexington Technology Center
- Tuesday, Dec. 6 - Hour of Code at College Park Middle School and Summerville High School
- Wednesday, Dec. 7 - Hour of Code at Windsor Hill Art Infused Elementary School
- Thursday, Dec. 8 - Hour of Code at Newington Elementary School
In the summer of 2017, The Citadel will offer a STEAM Summer Camp on coding for teachers and students in collaboration with Engaging Creative Minds. The STEM Center of Excellence at The Citadel works to prepare students for the 21st century workforce. A collaborative effort of The Citadel’s Schools of Education, Engineering and Science and Mathematics, the STEM Center delivers outreach initiatives to increase student interest, participation and opportunities in the STEM disciplines and develops innovative programming related to teacher preparation and professional development activities. The STEM Center also supports The Citadel’s efforts to produce more graduates who are poised to become successful leaders in STEM fields.
“…we have to make sure all our kids are equipped for the jobs of the future – which means not just being able to work with computers, but developing the analytical and coding skills to power our innovation economy.”
President Obama, Weekly Address, January 30, 2016.
There are half a million open technology jobs in the United States today, and that number is projected to more than double within the next 4 years. These jobs pay 50 percent more than the average private-sector job. One recent analysis of 26 million job postings found that nearly half of all the jobs in the top quartile in pay require some computer-science (CS) knowledge or coding skills.
And yet, CS remains largely missing from American K-12 education. By the most recent estimates, just 40 percent of K-12 schools report offering even a single computer-science course, and only 32 states currently allow students to count computer science towards core high school graduation requirements.
These challenges, and the growing relevance of computing to America’s economy, cybersecurity, and national security, are why President Obama issued a bold call to action at the beginning of this year—in his final State of the Union address—to give every child the opportunity to learn computer science.
Since then, 2016 has been a year of action in support of computer science. Fourteen new states have expanded CS education, more than 500 organizations have responded to the President’s call to action, and a new AP-CS course launched this fall and is already being offered in more than 2,000 classrooms. Fifteen Federal agencies are coordinating efforts to expand CS education, with new investments and guidance. Twenty-seven governors have called on Congress to support CS education.
Marking this year of progress, and kicking off the Computer Science Education Week 2016, the White House is announcing new actions in support of CS education.
New Actions Announced by the Administration Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
Increasing access to Computer Science in schools:
- The Citadel will double teacher professional development opportunities in Summer 2017 serving 72 teachers; engage 50 middle school students at a STEAM Summer Camp on coding in collaboration with Engaging Creative Minds. Middle school students will learn how a computer functions, how to protect their devices, and how to represent binary through dance.