Interview with Melissa Ross, WJCT’s host of First Coast Connect

 In Uncategorized

11.16.17

Participants:

Kathleen Schofield (sko-field), K-12 Program Director, Northeast Florida Regional STEM2 Hub [contact information]

Alexandra Vlachakis , Career and Technical Education Director, Duval County Public Schools [contact information]

Dr. Betina Malhotra, program manager for FSCJ’s regional partnership with Code.org [contact information]

 

What is Code.org?

“Launched in 2013, Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Our vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.

We’re proud to offer all of our curriculum and course content completely free worldwide, without any sort of needed partnership to use our materials in your school or organization! You can find our curriculum in full at curriculum.code.org. We also offer professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers through either 1-day or multi-phase workshops. You can read more about these opportunities here.”

 

FSCJ is Code.org’s Professional Learning Partner for Northeast Florida as of April 2016.

 

From Code.org:

  • Computing occupations are the #1 source of all new wages in the U.S. and make up two-thirds of all projected new jobs in STEM fields, making computer science one of the most in-demand college degrees.
  • Florida currently has 20,982 open computing jobs, but only 2,486 computer science graduates in 2015.
  • Only 2,688 high school students in Florida took the AP Computer Science exam in 2016.
  • Only 146 schools in FL (14% of FL schools with AP programs) offered the AP Computer Science course in 2015-2016.
  • Universities in Florida did not graduate a single new teacher prepared to teach computer science in 2016.

 

Local Highlights:

  • This is the first year that AP Computer Science is available in every Duval County high school.
    • STEM2 Hub sponsored one teacher from Raines and Ribault High this summer to attend the AP Summer Institute this year.
  • Computer Science Education Week is December 4-10, 2017. Events include:
    • DCPS, STEM2 Hub, and MOSH are hosting a hackathon for students at MOSH on Wednesday, Dec. 6.
    • Anyone in Northeast Florida can host an Hour of Code with materials available at Code.org.
  • Code.org met with educators from seven counties across Northeast Florida earlier this month to share more information about the computer science curriculum they can implement at their schools.
    • STEM2 Hub supporters from Wells Fargo and Web.com made the case to school administrators and teachers that, despite the absence of high-stakes tests associated with the field, computer science should be treated as a vital part of any K-12 education to prepare students for the future workforce and fill the pipeline of available jobs.

 

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