Learning to code teaches kids the mental discipline for breaking down problems logically and then solving them—a skillset that everyone can use. “We don’t expect all students to become computer scientists,” says Troy Williams, computer science integration manager at Chicago Public Schools. “But all students, no matter what their career [goals], can benefit from computational thinking.”
Americans tend to differ over the best career advice to give high school students, with younger adults urging them to follow their dreams and older Americans telling them they should enter occupations in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in May.
The growing list of major cyberattacks on this country amount to one modern-day Sputnik after another. A wide spectrum of private-sector entities, from banks and credit agencies to the entertainment industry, have faced attacks from foreign governments and intrusions from criminal enterprises.
On the national level, software contributes $1.14 trillion to U.S. GDP and supports more than 10 million jobs. Software directly created 2.9 million jobs in 2016 – good-paying jobs covering everything from the obvious ones, like software developers and web designers, to the less obvious, like project coordinators, administrative assistants, and accountants.
“We appreciate the White House’s action to elevate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at the Department of Education. While we look forward to more details on how this will work, we applaud the Trump Administration’s recognition of the connections between STEM skills and the best American jobs in the global economy. Although we differ with the President on funding levels for education programs at the Department, we certainly agree about the need to prioritize federal investments in STEM education – both in and outside the classroom. Our future depends on success in STEM.”
Middleburg Community Charter School students had a special surprise Wednesday morning. Senior Presidential Adviser Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, visited a fifth-grade coding class before speaking to the entire school. Trump was joined by Microsoft President Brad Smith and Hadi Partovi, founder of code.org and the Hour of Code program, to speak on the importance of STEM, computer science and coding.
Industry could support the diversification of the talent pool by making it more reflective of the population. By nurturing future chemists throughout their K-12 education, not just at the college or postgraduate level, industry can become more inclusive, according to Stephanie Rogers, managing director for Accenture’s resources industry group. She notes that the chemical industry can improve its attractiveness to STEM graduates--something that’s sorely needed.
The funding is a part of the White House’s new initiative to boost STEM and computer science education in grades K-12, which the administration announced on Monday. The initiative will combine the $300 million from the private sector with at least another $200 million from the Department of Education. The money will be spent on computer science curriculums around the country starting in the 2018 fiscal year.
The White House will put at least $200 million in grant funding towards bolstering STEM and Computer Science education “particularly among historically underserved groups,” the administration announced Monday. The minimum $200 million commitment from the Department of Education is supposed to bolstered by private sector contributions that senior administration officials say will be announced later this week.
As careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) continue to expand, experts are still concerned about the gender gap that exists in these fields. While the National Science Foundation finds that boys’ and girls’ performance in some STEM topics is pretty even during K–12 education, disparities begin in college and deepen at the career level.