Big CS Win for K-8 Students
April 15th, 2016
BREAKING NEWS: COMPUTER SCIENCE ADDED TO INDIANA’S K-8 SCIENCE STANDARDS
Indiana took an important step forward today to ensure its students are prepared to compete for in-demand technology careers. The Indiana State Board of Education voted this morning to include computer science standards in K-8 classrooms. The newly revised science standards were developed by the Indiana Department of Education.
“The addition of computer science as a science standard means more students will be exposed to technology in an entirely new way, to realize it is something they can create and not just use,” said Nextech President Karen Jung. “Equally important is the impact computer science curriculum will have on developing the critical thinking and problem solving skills needed for success in any career. Indiana’s students will benefit from state education leaders taking action to evolve classroom lessons to better prepare them for real world talent needs.”
Nextech is privileged to champion the importance of computer science education for K-12 students. The nonprofit provides professional development to teachers, empowering and equipping them to teach computer science curriculum in Indiana classrooms.
During the 2015-2016 school year Nextech invested more than $125,000 in a multi-phased professional development program. Powered by Nextech’s partnership with Code.org, the program blends in-person workshops and online components to provide ongoing community support for teachers. Twenty high school teachers from across the state are participating in the 15-month, 90-hour program.
Nextech is expanding its computer science professional development efforts in the 2016-2017 school year. Next year, the nonprofit will broaden its programs to include professional development for middle school teachers as well as high school teachers.
Nextech’s vision is to transform K-12 students from technology consumers to the next generation of tech pioneers. By 2025, there will be 51,500 net new jobs spanning more than 270 technically oriented occupations. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, a projected 45% of these jobs will go unfilled simply because there is not enough qualified talent. Computer science education is the perfect gateway to introduce today’s students to the tech jobs of tomorrow.
Today’s vote ensures Indiana will continue to lead and prepare students for the 21st century workforce by including computer science standards in classroom lessons.