This week – December 9th through the 15th – is the national Computer Science Education Week, marked by planned events in schools throughout the state of Hawaii. A highlight of these activities is the Hour of Code, an annual initiative developed by Code.org to spark interest among students across the U.S. and to help address the increasing demand for computer programmers in a variety of fields. The number of computer programming jobs continues to outstrip the numbers of computer science students; it is estimated that there are 1,300 computer science job opportunities currently in Hawaii, illustrating the importance of building training capacity in our schools.
“Maui Economic Development Board and its STEMworks™ program is delighted to have been awarded a Regional Partnership by Code.org to conduct computer science curriculum training for Department of Education teachers across the State,” remarked Leslie Wilkins, MEDB President and CEO. As a result, this month 14 Maui County schools participating in the STEMworks™ Code.org computer science curriculum will be involved in the Hour of Code, with five other schools statewide also providing all students the opportunity to try computer science for one hour through the STEMworks™ Code.org program.
Over the last two years, MEDB has trained 222 K-12th grade teachers and educators in the Code.org Computer Science Discoveries (CSD), Principles (CSP), and Fundamentals (CSD) curricula, allowing about 7,735 students statewide to become engaged in activities and learn the basics of computer science. Even if students don’t intend to grow up to be computer programmers, advocates say learning code can help them succeed in a broad range of problem-solving skills – most importantly, the ability to think. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.
These efforts are all the more significant because on the national level, only 45% of high schools teach computer science, compared with 90% of parents who want their children to study the subject. In addition, 67% of all new STEM jobs are in computing, and Code.org estimates that a computer science major can earn 40% more than the college average.
Maui Economic Development Board and its STEMworks™ program is delighted to have been awarded a Regional Partnership by Code.org to conduct science curriculum training for Department of Education teachers across the State.
Leslie Wilkins, MEDB President and CEO