DARPA wants your kids — to major in CS
$14.2M is over half of the budget of NSF’s CE21, so this is a considerable investment in trying to get more kids to consider CS as a career.
The Defense Department’s research and development agency has started an initiative to increase the number of computer science graduates in the United States. The three-year, $14.2 million dollar program will use a variety of online tools and educational approaches to guide interested middle and high school students into pursuing computer science careers.
Managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the computer science-science, technology, engineering and mathematics (CS-STEM) program’s goal is to expand the talent pool of applicants available for jobs to support secure DOD networks and to accelerate computer science innovation.
The interest in increasing the number of CS graduates has national security implications, DARPA officials said. According to the agency, since 2002, the number of U.S. college graduates with computer science or related degrees has dropped by 58.5 percent. To reverse these numbers, CS-STEM will focus on creating interesting activities and opportunities for middle and high school students that will increase in complexity as they progress through their education.
CS-STEM is built around three components: a distributed online community, an online robotics academy, and an extracurricular online community for students.