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"Computer Science for All" Initiative Kicks Off in Douglas County Schools

 Several Douglas County schools including Bill Arp Elementary used the Hour of Code event during Computer Science Education Week in December, 2015, to sharpen the computer skills of their students. Douglas County plans to offer computer science instruction at all grade levels in the coming years.
Several Douglas County schools including Bill Arp Elementary used the Hour of Code event during Computer Science Education Week in December, 2015, to sharpen the computer skills of their students. Douglas County plans to offer computer science instruction at all grade levels in the coming years.

The Douglas County School System (DCSS) is proud to announce a local “Computer Science for All” initiative. The school system plans to offer computer science in all Douglas County schools over the next three years. The primary focus will be to develop teacher capacity to integrate computer science into existing math and science classes as well as offer stand-alone computer science classes.

Information is being gathered by the Douglas County Computer Science Task Force on how best to make computer science available to all Douglas County students in grades K-12. The school system strives to graduate students who are prepared to succeed in the 21st century. The Task Force will seek local partners to support students with work based learning opportunities, field studies, and internships. DCSS is collaborating with the following businesses and organizations to develop the plan: Google; Code.org; Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Math, Science, and Computing (CEISMC); and the Georgia Department of Education (GADOE).

According to DCSS Superintendent Dr. Pritz, "We are really excited about this teacher-led initiative that meets with our School Board's vision of providing the very best rigorous and relevant curriculum we can for all our students. Computer science education is a critical need in our state and nation. The direction this will go will be truly exciting to watch and we know the winners will be our students!"

Computer science is an active and applied field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning that allows students to engage in hands-on, real-world interaction with key math, science, and engineering principles. It gives students opportunities to be producers, not just consumers, in the digital economy, and to be active citizens in our technology-driven world. Computer Science can also foster computational thinking skills that are relevant to many disciplines and careers, such as breaking a large problem into smaller ones, recognizing how new problems relate to ones that have already been solved, setting aside details of a problem that are less important, and identifying and refining the steps needed to reach a solution.

Providing access to computer science is a critical step for ensuring that our nation remains competitive in the global economy and strong in cyber security. Last year, there were over 600,000 tech jobs open across the United States, and by 2018, 51 percent of all STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science related fields. The federal government alone needs an additional 10,000 IT and cyber security professionals, and the private sector needs many more. The field is not only important for the tech sector, but also for a growing number of industries, including transportation, healthcare, education, and financial services, that are using software to transform their products and services. In fact, more than two-thirds of all CS jobs are outside the tech sector.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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