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We Must Have Computer Science In More Schools
Computer science can help students excel, making them college-ready while also equipping them with the skills they need to be productive in the job market once they graduate. The challenge, of course, is to integrate this subject into an already jam-packed schedule, and drive additional student interest during high school. Schools, parents, organizations, and industry need to work together to help students recognize the value of computing and computer science in our modern world and provide them with interesting and practical ways to engage.
Educational decision-makers should be made aware that many of these foundational skills have little to do with coding languages, and can be integrated into existing math and science lessons, allowing students to develop and build upon core skills over time. Schools can help ensure kids stay engaged with computer science at the middle- and high-school levels by showing them how advanced computing concepts and specific programming languages can support people and communities in positive ways, and is essentially creative in nature, thus appealing to a broader cross-section of students. Schools can also stimulate long-term engagement in computer science by sponsoring direct relationships with role models, particularly female role models and role models from under-represented minorities.
There are many non-profit initiatives and industry mentorship programs that have had success in attracting and inspiring girls and young women to pursue computing. Schools can partner with these programs to give students “real world” experience with computer science, also offers curriculum guides and other resources to support school districts as they integrate computer science building blocks into the classroom.
Finally, if we want our students to engage in computer science, it must count toward core academic high school graduation requirements, either as an approved course to fulfill existing math or science requirements, or as a stand-alone requirement. Colleges and universities can also support computer science education for younger students through summer camps, after-school programs, and partnerships and credit transfer agreements with feeder schools.
Computer science can help make students stronger hires by giving them the critical thinking skills and agility to follow job market trends when they graduate. Schools, society, and industry will all benefit from encouraging students to take these courses, and more thoroughly explore what computer science has to offer. To help ensure future global stability and success, we must get students engaged in this topic and add computer science to more schools and classrooms today.