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Celebrate Computer Science Education Week

Friday, December 3, 2021

It’s Computer Science Education Week -- a perfect time to promote the importance of computer science programs in Iowa.

Established in 2009, Computer Science Education Week is intended to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science. It recognizes the work of teachers, students and industry stakeholders for their contributions and advancements of the field.

To recognize Computer Science Education Week in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds plans to sign a proclamation on Dec. 8 to provide inspiration to the state’s K-12 students and to recognize the critical impact of computer science on careers and other aspects of Iowans’ quality of life. Additionally, the Iowa Department of Education and the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council are collaborating with the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Iowa Business Council, Technology Association of Iowa and Computer Science Teachers Association Iowa Chapter to elevate computer science in a variety of ways this week. Schools and other organizations are also holding computer science events across the state.

High-quality computer science instruction helps students understand how and why technologies work and how they can lead to real-life solutions for both individuals and their communities. Computer science also focuses on the creation of new technologies versus just using them. Since technology has become nearly omnipresent in most aspects of our daily lives and new technologies will continue to be developed in the future, it is no surprise that computer science is one of the fastest growing industries within the world, including Iowa.

“Computer science jobs are in high-demand,” said Justin Lewis, education consultant at the Iowa Department of Education. “It’s important to get students exposed to technology and resources and have them explore the world of computer science and what that entails.”

Iowa has fully recognized how important computer science will be for students’ personal and professional success as well as the competitiveness of our future workforce and economy. In response, a 2020 state law, House File 2629, set new requirements for computer science education for K-12 students.

By July 2022, high schools must offer at least a one-half unit high-quality computer science course, and school districts and accredited nonpublic schools must implement a local K-12 computer science plan. For statewide support, the Department of Education must develop a state plan as well.  The Department convened a Computer Science Work Group that recommended in July 2021 how to strengthen instruction and promote computer science.

In addition, elementary and middle schools must provide high-quality computer science classes in at least one grade level by July 2023. The intent of establishing computer science early in Iowa schools is to give all students a strong foundation on which to build their understanding and interest in the field.

“This is a pipeline to building really strong foundations,” said Corey Rogers, digital learning consultant at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency. “If we wait until high school, we haven’t given students the foundational skills they need. We want their computer science experiences to be successful. We want them to be confident.”

Iowa’s focus on computer science education will help ensure that students are future ready in this ever-growing field. To celebrate Computer Science Education Week, visit the Department’s website and learn more about what Iowa is doing to help promote computer science.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on January 18, 2022 at 8:25am.