Last week, students throughout the Seattle metro region participated in Computer Science Education Week, which took place December 5 through December 11. This annual activity, which started in 2009, works to raise awareness around the need to advance computer science education at every level so that students understand the critical role computing plays in all careers. School districts and other organizations partner to give students active opportunities to learn about computer science as well as potential career pathways.
Students and educators throughout our area participated in activities around computer science education with a number of Chamber members, such as:
- Code.org, a Seattle based-nonprofit, which has spearheaded activities around Computer Science Education Week, including the “Hour of Code”, which started simply as a one-hour introduction to computer science in order to show that anyone can learn the basics of coding. Hour of Code has grown into a worldwide effort with multiple partners and students participating throughout the globe. Here in Seattle, many of our area’s school districts participated by having students of all ages complete an Hour of Code tutorial. One school district even had some of its youngest learners teach its superintendent how to code.
- The University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering College, which celebrated Computer Science Education Week by opening its doors to more than 400 students, parents and teachers to explore computer science and computer engineering through interactive demos and lab tours. Not only did attendees have the opportunity to participate in hands on training, but they were able to meet with industry representatives to learn about potential careers and why leaders in those industries love what they do.
- Microsoft, a longtime supporter or Computer Science Education Week and Code.org, which got ready early, releasing its Minecraft Hour of Code Designer program in November. Then, this past week, Microsoft opened its stores so that students and educators could receive hands-on tutorials on the new coding program and learn the skills that are needed in today’s world.
State leaders also took action during Computer Science Education Week: Governor Jay Inslee and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn introduced and signed new standards for computer science education throughout the state to ensure every student has access to computer science courses.
The Chamber is proud to see our members participating in this important initiative. Ensuring students have access to STEM and computer science education is a top priority for the Chamber because of its connection to inclusive growth in our region. We are excited to see students at every age gain in-demand skills that prepare them for career pathways and a successful future.
For more information about the Chamber’s work on education issues, please contact Kyla Shkerich, our policy and outreach manager.