10 months, 2 weeks ago Veronica GonzalesKeymaster
A Message from our STEM Education Fellow, Patti Curtis below:
Happy Computer Science Education Week
ED’s Computer Science Initiatives
Computer Science (CS) means the study of computers and algorithmic processes and includes the study of computing principles and theories, computational thinking, computer hardware, software design, coding, analytics, and computer applications. CS often includes computer programming or coding as a tool to create software, including applications, games, websites, and tools to manage or manipulate data; or development and management of computer hardware and the other electronics related to sharing, securing, and using digital information. In addition to coding, the expanding field of CS emphasizes computational thinking and interdisciplinary problem-solving to equip students with the skills and abilities necessary to apply computation in our digital world.
However, recent CS data demonstrate that 60% of high schools do not offer computer science courses. What’s more, the U.S. has more than 700,000 open technology jobs, but universities are producing only about one-tenth that number of computer science graduates. Additionally, there are shortages in high-quality STEM teachers, especially CS teachers.
STEM, including CS, is part of the Secretary’s Supplemental Priorities and Building Computational Literacy is a key component of the 5-Year Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan, entitled Charting A Course For Success: America’s Strategy For STEM Education. This plan was issued one year ago and a Progress Report on The Federal Implementation of The STEM Education Strategic Plan was released back in October. The U.S. Department of Education actively supports the goals of the Plan and serves on Council on STEM (CoSTEM), Federal Committee on STEM (FC-STEM), and several Interagency Working Groups seeking to align with and implement the plan.
What else is the Department doing to provide more STEM/CS opportunities for students and teachers and close this skills gap divide? In FY19, the Department held several competitive grant opportunities that included a STEM competitive preference and/or a Computer Science priority.
- The Department invested nearly $540 million to support STEM, including CS, in Fiscal Year 2019. The Department’s investments in 2019 also included almost $100 million in funds to support projects with a focus on Computer Science. Read the full STEM/CS round up press release here.
- Education Innovation Research (EIR) Program – Of the 41 grants awarded totaling $123 million, more than $78 million went to 29 grantees focused on STEM education. What’s more, 85% of the STEM projects included a focus on computer science. See new grantees here.
- Perkins Innovation and Modernization Program – Of the nine grants awarded, all but one included a computer science component. See grantees here.
- Teacher Quality Partnership Grants – Over two-thirds of the funded projects are specifically designed to better prepare teachers for teaching STEM and computer science, including innovative ideas such as enabling teachers to earn micro-credentials in the field of computer science. See new grantees here.
- Pathways to STEM Apprenticeship for High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Students Demonstration Program – Supports State efforts to expand and improve the transition of high school CTE Students to postsecondary education and employment through apprenticeships in STEM fields, including Computer Science, that begin during high school. Read more about the current grantees here.
Other related ED opportunities:
- Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award nominations will close on January 31, 2020. Anyone may nominate an educator for this honor; self-nominations are permitted as well. For example, a computer science teacher who teaches a unit on cybersecurity may qualify. To nominate or apply, visit here.
- The STEM Education Briefing Series commenced this summer and is spearheaded by yours truly. The July 31, 2019, briefing focused on CS. The archived recording is linked here: What Do We Know about Computer Science Education?.
- Earlier this year, Secretary Betsy DeVos visited a ‘model’ coding program for Indiana incarcerated youth. Read more by going here.
New ED Opportunity: Attention STEM/CS Educators – School Ambassador Fellowship Program
- Applications for the 2020-2021 cohort of the US Department of Education’s School Ambassador Fellowship applications are open through 5pm EST on December 31, 2019. Please sign-up for updates to stay in contact with the program. The School Ambassador Fellowship is a paid position that supports the Department’s mission by employing a cadre of diverse, outstanding educators to contribute their classroom and school expertise to the national education dialogue and in turn facilitate discussions with educators across the country. For the Fellows, the program adds greater knowledge of educational policy and leadership to their toolkits, allowing them to further contribute to solutions at all levels for long intractable challenges in education. For more information on how the Fellowship works, please see our Program Overview. For applicant information, visit here.
NGOs Promote Computer Science Education
During this year’s Computer Science Education Week, December 9-15th, Code.org and its 400 partners are excited about this year’s Hour of Code and its theme. Starting this year, the Hour of Code will continue inspiring student creativity with a new theme: Computer Science for Good. #CSforGood. Last year, the Hour of Code theme of creativity inspired students globally to create technology using computer science. On Code.org alone, students have created over 55 million projects!
CS for All
In anticipation of the passage of the bi-partisan JROTC Cyber Training Act of 2019 as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, CSforALL is collaborating with the US Air Force JROTC HQ and additional partners to launch JROTC-CS, a demonstration project to design and test implementation models for the long-term scale up of CS and cybersecurity education programs within the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC). When implemented, the JROTC Cyber Training Act will authorize the DOD JROTC program to provide evidence-based computer science and cybersecurity education to all JROTC cadets. See the announcement and overview.
Counselors, Administrators Discover Why Computer Science Matters
Among other things, the National Math-Science Initiative (NMSI) leads a partnership, along with Bootstrap and National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT), that includes the Beauty and Joy of Computing, Cornell Tech, CS Awesome, Exploring Computer Science, MIT App Inventor, Mobile CSP, Project GUTS and UTeach CS. The partners collaborate to help districts, including teachers, administrators and guidance counselors, develop and promote rigorous, inclusive and sustainable computer science courses. Read morehere.
Celebrate CSEdWeek with Code SciGirls! – December 11, 2019, 2:00 PM Eastern
A new Season of SciGirls premieres December 12, 2019 during Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek). The bright and relatable girls featured in five new episodes explore computer science by coding, designing, and programming their way to new adventures in technology. Webinar participants will learn about the new season of SciGirls: the episodes, topics, games, and new activities.
White House STEM Updates
- President Donald J. Trump Announces President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. PCASTexecutive order. PCAST membership.
- White House OSTP Releases Report on America’s Leadership in Global Earth Observations. The full 2019 National Plan for Civil Earth Observations report can be viewed here.
Family Engagement in STEM
The 5th STEM Education Briefing at the Department focused on Family Engagement in STEM and featured two experts in the field, Linda Kekelis, STEM Next Opportunity Fund and Andres Henriquez, NY Hall of Science. You can watch the archived video here and a rich list of additional resources are provided below. This blog about 10 Fun and Free Holiday Gifts is great for the holidays too.
Girls Steam Ahead with NASA Resources
The National Girls Collaborative (NGCP) held a webinar, featuring partners at the Space Telescope Science Institute and Hunterdon County Library, North County Library. You will find the recording, slides, and links to resources discussed on the “Exemplary Practices using Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA Free Resources” eventlink.
International Computer Literacy Study Released
The United States participated in the 2018 International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) along with 13 other education systems, sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). ICILS assesses 8th-grade students in two domains: computer and information literacy (CIL) and computational thinking (CT). The results were announced in early November and a recording of the presentations from Julian Fraillon, ICILS study director, and Peggy Carr, Associate Commissioner, Assessments Division of NCES, the panel discussion, as well as the Q&A session can be found here.
A full library of ICILS study results and infographics available to download, the ICILS 2018 Assessment Framework, the final report Preparing for Life in a Digital World, and the press release can all be found here. A web report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) provides comparative information about the computer and information literacy of eighth-grade students in the U.S. and 13 other education systems that took part in the 2018 IICILS Study.
Addendum: Family Engagement in STEM Resources
- Changing the Game in STEM with Family Engagement: A White Paper for Practitioners and Field Leaders to Empower Families in STEM by Linda Kekelis and Kara Sammet with STEM Next
- Executive Summary Changing the Game in STEM with Family Engagement by Linda Kekelis with STEM Next
- Cultivating a Community of Champions for Children Through Transformative Family Engagement by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- Engage Every Family. Five Simple Principles by Steven Constantino
- Family Engagement Playbook by Margaret Caspe, M. Elena Lopez, & Rachel Hanebutt with the Global Family Research Project
- Joining Together to Create a Bold Vision for Next-Generation Family Engagement: Engaging Families to Transform Education by Heather Weiss, M. Elena Lopez, & Margaret Caspe with the Global Family Research Project
- Executive Summary Joining Together to Create a Bold Vision for Next-Generation Family Engagement by the Global Family Research Project
- Promising Practices for Engaging Families in STEM Learning edited by Margaret Caspe, Taniesha Woods, & Joy Kennedy
- Our Neighborhood. A Family Engagement Guide and Resource for STEM Learning Ecosystems by the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice and TIES\
Additional reads to inspire your engagement with families:
- The Creative Parent’s Toolbox by Technovation
- How Can We Re-Think Assumptions about Family Engagement? by Dale McCreedy, Micaela Balzer, & Bhaskar Upadhyay for the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education
- How Do We Achieve Computer Science for All? Not without Family Engagement by Linda Kekelis & Ron Ottinger with STEM Next
- ‘I’m not just a mom’: Parents as creators, collaborators, and learners in creative computing by Ricarose Roque
- Parents as Learning Partners in the Development of Technological Fluency by Brigid Barron, Caitlin Kennedy Martin, Lori Takeuchi, & Rachel Fithian
- Set a Place at the STEM Table for Youth with Disabilities and their Families by Linda Kekelis with STEM Next
- Supporting Parents to Support Science by Breniel Lemley, Claire Christensen, & Cindy Hoisington for the Global Family Research Project
- 10 Fun and Free Holiday Gifts for 2019. Make it a Season of STEM by Linda Kekelis
- Top 10 Ways Families Can Encourage Girls’ Interest in Computing by NCWIT
- What Parents Talk About When They Talk about Learning: A National Survey About Young Children and Scienceby M. Silander, T. Grindal, N. Hupert, E. Garcia, K. Anderson, P. Vahey, & S. Pasnik for Education Development Center and SRI International
- Bedtime Math @BedtimeMath
- Tara Chklovski, founder and CEO of Iridescent (now Technovation) @TaraChk @technovation
- Steve Constantino, national expert on family engagement. @DrSConstantino @LivingTree
- EdNavigator, @ednavigate
- Family Science & Engineering
- Family Math
- Global Family Research Project, a national platform on family engagement research, practices, and policies. @GlobalFRP
- National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement advances policies and practices of family, school, and community engagement. @NAFSCE
- National PTA and STEM + Families @NationalPTA
- Nichole Pinkard with Digital Youth Divas supports girls and parents in out-of-school time with computer science activities. @npinkard
- PowerMyLearning @PowerMyLearning
- Debbie Pushor, professor at the University of Saskatchewan and researcher of family engagement @DrDebbiePushor
- Ricarose Roque designs Family Creative Learning where parents and children learn technology together. @ricarose
- STEM Next Opportunity Fund, a national leader in increasing opportunities in STEM for youth across communities both in and out of school. @STEMNext
Please Note: The STEM Fellow Update will be transitioning to an official US Department of Education newsletter and delivered via GovDelivery on or around January 9, 2020. This will allow us to better build and manage our distribution list. If you prefer that your address be removed before this transition, please let me know.
Disclaimer: The contents of this STEM ED Fellow Update was developed for the benefit of the reader and contains various informational resources. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) does not mandate or prescribe practices, models, or other activities in this Update. The contents of this Update may contain examples of, adaptations of, and links to resources created and maintained by another public or private organization. The Department does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. The content of this Update does not necessarily represent the policy of the Department, nor does it reflect its importance. This publication is not intended to represent or be an endorsement by any Federal agency or department, or the U.S. Government of any views expressed, or materials provided, or links to information contained therein.
Robert Noyce/Ellen Lettvin STEM Education Fellow
Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development
U.S. Department of Education
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