How to Engage in CS Ed Week 2021

Posted by Kammas Kersch, STEM Services Coordinator & Ivana Ivanovic, Communications Specialist on 12/7/2021 4:15:00 PM

Each December since 2009, students and educators across the globe have celebrated Computer Science (CS) Education Week to bring awareness to the need for all students to be taught computer science. CS Ed Week 2021 provides us with the opportunity to reexamine what CS is, why it is important for our students, and how we can get involved.

What is computer science?

In its simplest definition, computer science is the study of computers and computing systems. It is important to note that computer science education includes a wide array of concepts and that computer programming and coding are just an aspect within the field of computer science. Through collaboration with several CS education organizations, K12CS developed the K-12 Computer Science Framework, which is now heavily relied upon to implement computer science curriculum. The framework identifies computer science education as including five core concepts: computer systems, networks and the internet, data and analysis, algorithms and programming, and the impacts of computing. Through computer science education, students become better problem solvers and are able to apply critical thinking skills to all subject areas.

Why is computer science important for our students?

As of November 2021, Pennsylvania has averaged 16,926 open computer jobs each month, with each job having an average salary of $89,590, according to the 2021 State of Computer Science Education. In teaching our students computer science, we are connecting them to a career field they may not otherwise know exists or feel confident to pursue. In 2020, while 6,211 students took AP computer science exams, only 27% of those students were female and Black/African American students were 2.7 times less likely to take the exam than their white and Asian peers. Through computer science education, we can close these gaps and ensure all students can see themselves as computer scientists.

How can I get involved in CS Ed Week 2021?

  1. Host an Hour of Code- Every K-12 classroom can get involved with CS Ed Week by participating in an Hour of Code. The Hour of Code site provides fun, engaging activities for every grade level that can be done with or without technology.
  2. Connect with a Computer Scientist - One way to introduce computer science to students is by introducing them to computer scientists! Utilize video conferencing or invite a community member to your classroom to teach your students what it means to be a computer scientist.
  3. Plan for CS K-12 Education - Review the CS K-12 Framework and the CSTA standards to begin thinking through what computer science education can look like for your students. Participate in SCRIPT strategic planning to develop a vision and take steps toward bringing your vision to life. 

Join us at our CS Summit on Thursday, December 9! Enroll here, www.cciu.org/cssummit