Computer Science Education Week 2012 Highlights How Computer Science Fuels the Future

Thousands pledge their support of and participation in CSEdWeek activities to raise awareness of the critical issue of K-12 computer science education.

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Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 10, 2012

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), December 9-15, 2012, is a call to action to raise awareness about the importance of computer science education for K-12 students and its connection to careers in computing and many other fields. Thousands of students, teachers, business professionals, industry leaders, parents and others have pledged to raise awareness of this critical issue this week through worldwide events.

US Department of Labor projections show that in the next 10 years, more than 1.5 million high-wage jobs in the technology sector will be created in the U.S. economy, and five of the top ten fastest-growing jobs will be in computing-related fields. Yet, our current K-12 education system is not set up to help students take advantage of these future career opportunities. In fact, teaching of computer science in our K-12 education system has dramatically declined, and even the states that currently offer computer science classes most often do not count the credit toward graduation.

“Nationwide, less than one quarter of students have access to rigorous computer science courses—and the state of K12 computer science education is not getting any better,” said Ruthe Farmer, 2012 CSEdWeek Chair and Director of Strategic Initiatives for the National Center for Women & Information Technology. “We are simply not realizing the full potential of the US talent pool. In order to fuel an innovation economy, we must provide students opportunities to explore this dynamic field and ultimately become the creators of the technologies of the future.”

Studying computer science, regardless of a student’s ultimate occupation, will provide the critical computational thinking skills, knowledge, and practices necessary to be successful in college or a career. However, few students have opportunities to learn computer science in early grades, leaving them unprepared to take engaging, rigorous computer science in high school. One of the goals of CSEdWeek is to promote efforts to expose students—particularly in grades K-12—to robust computer science education courses.

“It’s imperative that we help students, parents, educators, and government officials understand that computer science will open doors for today’s students—especially in the United States—and enable them to become tomorrow’s successful business leaders, employees and innovators,” said Alison Derbenwick Miller, CSEdWeek 2012 Vice Chair and Vice President of Oracle Academy. “Our broad community must work together to engage and excite students and ensure that all K-12 students have access to a continuous curriculum of rigorous computer science courses.”

There are hundreds of events happening all across the country. Here are just a few:
Create an App in a Day - Atlanta, GA
Georgia Tech and Black Girls Code are collaborating to teach 80 African American middle school girls to program and build mobile apps using AppInventor.
Computer Science Fun Day - Birmingham, AL
Special needs students will participate in a day-long program on computer science and assistive technologies at the Lakeshore Foundation supported by a grant from The Computer Science Collaboration Project.
Bring CS to the Kids - Springfield, OR
Thinkersmith will host an event at Brattain House to bring computer science to K-12 students experiencing homelessness to open minds and increase access, while encouraging curiosity and confidence.

Visit http://www.csedweek.org to find an event near you or get the tools to help plan your own in your community.

Media Contact:
Stacey Finkel/703.304.1377/finkelstacey(at)gmail(dot)com

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About Computer Science Education Week
CSEdWeek is a collaborative activity of Computing in the Core (CinC), a non-partisan advocacy coalition of associations, corporations, scientific societies, and other non-profits that strive to elevate computer science education to a core academic subject in K-12 education. CSEdWeek’s core partners are the Association for Computing Machinery, Microsoft, Google, Computer Science Teachers Association, National Center for Women & IT, IEEE Computer Society, Oracle, Computing Research Association, College Board, Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology, SAS, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and National Science Teachers Association. CSEdWeek is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

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