Georgia Tech’s Press Pitch on National CS Ed Week

December 3, 2009 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

Georgia Tech is putting together a statement to press, to drum up interest in National CS Education Week, and of course, in what Georgia Tech is doing in this space.  I got permission for Stefany Wilson, our Director of Communications, to share it here. The comment from me at the bottom isn’t exactly what I said — Stefany put better grammar and less hyperbole in my mouth.

As you may be aware, next week (Dec  7-12) is the first annual National Computer Science Education Week (http://www.acm.org/press-room/news-releases/cs-education-week) – a Congressionally designated national observance to raise the profile of computer science education in America. It is no secret that the US faces a tough challenge in remaining globally competitive in overall science and technology education; and institutions around the country are diligently working to improve CS education at all levels (K-12, college, graduate, etc.).
For any stories you might be planning (or to interest you in the topic overall), I’ve bulleted out some major initiatives currently underway at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a top 10 public research and technology university in Atlanta.
Georgia Tech CS Education Initiatives
Georgia Tech is tackling the issue of improving CS education on multiple fronts through innovative educational initiatives at the state and national levels. A look at our most recent work is below:
•         Project Georgia Computes! – a multi-million dollar, statewide program aimed at expanding the pipeline of computer science students and faculty at all education levels in Georgia. Programs include weekend computing camps with the Girl Scouts, after-school computing workshops with Boys & Girls Club and the YWCA, and summer camps at Georgia Tech and other participating colleges. Other states are looking to replicate this program including Alabama, Florida and Illinois. See press release (http://www.cc.gatech.edu/news/media/georgia-tech-broadens-diversifies-computing-education)
•         Operation Reboot – a $2.5 million program to transform unemployed IT works into Georgia high school computing teachers. Operation Reboot aims to improve the computing education of 4,600 students over the next three years by increasing the number of well-trained computing teachers. See press release (http://www.cc.gatech.edu/news/georgia-tech-to-transform-unemployed-technology-workers-into-high-school-computing-teachers)
•         Institute for Personal Robotics in Education – an ongoing educational initiative to enhance undergraduate computer science curriculum using personal robotics to teach foundational computing skills. This collaborative effort with Microsoft Corp. and Bryn Mawr College kicked-off in 2007. Visit website (http://www.roboteducation.org/)
COMMENT: Mark Guzdial, Professor, College of Computing at Georgia Tech
The critical need for expanded computer science education goes beyond filling the massive, short-term gap between the number of IT jobs available and the far-too-low number of IT graduates projected over the next few years. Computer science education is key to long-term US competitiveness. For sustained growth across all sectors of the US economy, we need smart users of computers who can innovate around information and technology. This is a revolution in the way the we think about computer science education, and Georgia Tech is at the forefront.  Since 1999, Georgia Tech has focused on the development of new curricula and coursework to best ensure that power of computer science is available for everyone, to innovate and improve US competitiveness.

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