Computer Science Education Week is a time when educators and students can share of the successes they have had during their time studying computer science. At the same time, it is a chance to promote the continuation and growth of computer science education.
According to research shared by Code.org, 90% of parents want their child to study computer science but only 25% of schools even teach such courses. Such statistics may be shocking to some considering the growing number of jobs that require computing skills.
Twenty-two years ago, Jennifer Rountree took a position as computer science teacher at Bob Jones High School. Since then, she has been able to experience the field of computer science education expand from only instruction in coding to exploring how these courses can be applied to any line of work. When asked about the above statistics, Mrs. Rountree was able to share some insight on those numbers.
“I belong to CSTA (Computer Science Teacher’s Association) that follows these stats very closely and provides resources and ways to increase those numbers. The Computer Science Principles course was a result of this effort and has drastically increased the number of students including females and underrepresented minorities who are being exposed to computer science. Even though 1 in 4 sounds bleak, it has improved a lot in recent years.”
Students across the board, whether they have taken a computer science class or have never done so, recognize the value in offering such courses at a high school level. In a recent survey of both students in programming classes and not, an overwhelming majority agreed that computer science classes are important.
“It is important to give high schoolers a broad amount of opportunities for their futures, and computer science is one of the most promising career fields of the 21st century,” shared Bob Jones senior Cassie Volkin, who has taken C and C++ programming classes and is scheduled to take an AP course in the spring. She also notes that these courses have helped her develop creative problem-solving skills.
Junior Cassi Fabby, who has not taken a computer science class, still sees the importance in computer science classes as the study is “becoming more real in our society today.”
Mrs. Rountree shared how during past Computer Science Education Weeks, Bob Jones students have been able to go and spend time with elementary students, sharing with them the fun and knowledge that they have experienced in their own computer science classes. Unfortunately, they were unable to do this during the week this year.
There is no doubt that computer science is constantly growing as a significant factor in today’s workforce. As its presence in the workforce grows, hopefully the presence of computer science in high school courses will continue to grow as well.