Computer Science for All
Our nation’s computer scientists use technology to solve some of our biggest challenges, designing solutions to make our daily lives and work easier. They design algorithms. They write software. They create applications. They think of ways to make our devices work better, and even invent new ones. Across our country, computer scientists are building the next big thing.
When students have the opportunity to study computer science, they can develop skills and aptitudes such as persistence, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration — skills that they will need to succeed in school, life, and any profession they choose.
We know that computer science is an expanding field, presenting many opportunities to young people looking for exciting, relevant work in our increasingly global, knowledge-based economy.
By the year 2018, more than half of all science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields. And those remaining STEM jobs will almost all require significant computational skills. If we want our students to be prepared to thrive in this environment of rapid economic change, we need to start preparing them right now.
Computer science also is an active and applied field of STEM learning where students are able to engage in hands-on, real-world interaction with key math, science, and engineering principles. In addition to coding, it gives students opportunities to be producers in the digital economy, not just consumers of the technology around them. Computer science also can help foster “computational thinking” skills and practices that are relevant to problem-solving across many disciplines and careers, skills such as breaking a large problem into a number of smaller ones, recognizing how problems relate to ones that already have been solved, setting aside details of a problem that are less important, and identifying and refining the steps needed to reach a solution. That’s why President Obama announced the Computer Science for All proposal.
Below you will find resources to support educators, schools, districts and states interested in increasing access to computer science opportunities for students. This page will be updated as new resources are posted, so please check back often.
· Proposes $4 billion in funding over three years for states to increase access to P-12 computer science by training current or new teachers, providing instructional materials and resources, and offering online or mixed-delivery CS and building effective partnerships and collaborations. This proposed funding from the Department of Education will allow more states to offer hands-on CS courses in their high schools, create high-quality CS learning opportunities in elementary and middle school, and ensure strong participation from all students, including girls and under-represented minorities.
· Dedicates $100 million for the establishment of “Computer Science for All Development Grants.” These competitive grants would be specifically targeted to support school districts, alone or as a participant in a consortium with other districts, to execute ambitious CS expansion efforts, particularly for traditionally under-represented students
In addition to the FY17 budget proposals, ED will be releasing additional tools and resources throughout the coming year including:
· Additional Funding Opportunities at ED: Building on the STEM Act of 2015, ED will release a Dear Colleague Letter later this year that will include guidance on opportunities to support STEM education. This letter, which will be released in the spring, will discuss opportunities to utilize existing funding opportunities towards expanding access to STEM and CS learning experiences for all students. In addition, the Department of Education’s Office of Innovation & Improvement’s (OII) will invest in both innovative and evidence-based projects that reach high need schools and communities. Such programs could include launching or scaling CS projects.
· CS Teacher Institute: The Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) and National Science Foundation (NSF) will participate in a joint effort to expand the field of computer science educators in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. This effort will create a first cohort of educators who will provide additional computer science professional development for educators across the country.
· Creating 21st Century Learners and Coders: The U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, funded at more than $1 billion and the federal government’s largest investment in afterschool and extended day programs, will increase awareness of high quality CS resources for out-of-school programs. The 21st CCLC program will showcase promising practices and resources within its network of State Directors, site Directors and front-line staff and feature computer science in the STEM session at the program’s Summer Institute.
· STEM 2025: ED will release a report entitled “STEM 2025” in the spring. STEM 2025 will discuss an innovative 10-year vision for STEM education. The report will discuss considerations for the next ten years in P-12 STEM education and will include a discussion on the importance of computational thinking and other CS related activities.
|Resources funded by the National Science Foundation
View NSF supported projects and the instructional materials and resources those projects have created for teachers and schools.
|See who else is involved
See who made commitments to computer science education by checking out the White House Fact Sheet.
|CS Perspectives||Resources from ED
Blog post from CS Ed Week that discusses use of funds for computer science
|Examples from the field
1. South Fayette Township School District’s focus on “computational thinking,” which involves not only programming but also robotics and electrical engineering that promotes students to “think abstractly, recursively, algorithmically, and logically”
2. Liberty Elementary School’s offers not only coding, but also circuit design, robotics, and other makerspace activities.
STEM@ed.gov with suggestions or to ensure you stay in touch about future CS Initiatives.