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A Week to Focus on Computer Science Education

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The U.S. House of Representatives has designated Dec. 6-12 Computer Science Education Week to help raise awareness of the dearth of computer science in grades K-12 and the need to remedy the situation.

A 2002 Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) survey determined that only 17 percent of teachers mentioned having a state-mandated computer science curriculum at the high school level, while just 1 percent said the course was obligatory. That is in contrast to a 2006 CSTA report estimating that computer science departments produced more than 45,000 baccalaureate and 850 Ph.D. degrees that year. Countries such as Canada, New Zealand, and Israel, unlike the United States, have put in place a comprehensive computer science curriculum. The United States has to do the same for grades K-12 if it wishes to keep up with the changing global economy.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 854,000 professional information technology (IT) jobs will be added between 2006 and 2016, and all of these jobs will demand a solid computer science background. Furthermore, many professions outside of the IT industry — including marketing, journalism, and the creative arts — now require proficiency in computer science and computer programming.

The National Science Foundation has set up new research grant programs to improve computer science education, one of which is the Broadening Participation in Computing program designed to fund research into increasing computer science education.

View a video from NSF on Computer Science Education Week.

From National Science Foundation
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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