Nextech Expands CS Education

August 4th, 2015

Hundreds of students across the state will take part in computer science courses this school year due to the launch of a partnership between Nextech and 10 Indiana high schools.

As part of its commitment to inspire and enable young people from all backgrounds to pursue careers in technology, Nextech is investing more than $125,000 in a multi-phased professional development program. The program blends in-person workshops and online components to provide ongoing community support for teachers. Twenty teachers from across the state convened this summer to kick off the 15-month, 90-hour program.

“Effectively teaching computer science takes more than just an understanding of the curriculum. Teachers also need to be skilled in the areas of inquiry and equity,” said Hamilton Southeastern High School teacher Julie Alano, a participant in the professional development program. “Nextech’s professional development program combined with proven curriculum, will ensure our students are building the critical thinking skills needed for lifelong success.”

Nextech is a nonprofit focused on transforming K-12 students from technology consumers to the next generation tech pioneers. The organization, led by Karen Jung, announced a groundbreaking partnership in April with global computer science education leader Code.org to bring computer science curriculum and professional development to Indiana high schools in academic year 2015-16.

“More than half of the 9.2 million STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) jobs in the U.S. between 2010 and 2020 will be in computing,” Jung said. “We are delighted to partner with 10 high schools from around the state to introduce students to the foundational skills of computer science.  Not only will we introduce them to a growing job field but also set them up for success regardless of career path.”

The 10 schools participating are:

  • Arsenal Technical High School (IPS)
  • Beech Grove
  • Christel House Academy South
  • Franklin Central High School
  • Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School (IPS)
  • George Washington (IPS)
  • Hamilton Southeastern High School
  • Hammond Academy of South Bend
  • Northwest Community High School (IPS)
  • Tell City Jr/Sr High School

Of the 10 schools, only four offered computer science classes last school year; and six have greater than 50 percent of the student population on free or reduced lunches.

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