Bryant declares December ‘Computer Science Education Month,’ notes MDE-RCU partnership

 

CS Month - Staff

November 30, 2017
Contact: Carl Smith

From right to left, Research and Curriculum Unit project managers Lois Kappler and Anne Brinkmann participate in Shelly Hollis’ early preview of Hour of Code activities for students that will be delivered during Computer Science Education Week, which runs Dec. 4-10. The RCU is facilitating Hour of Code events for students, parents and administrators at the Calhoun County School District, McComb School District and Quitman School District this year. Governor Phil Bryant recently declared December as Computer Science Education Month in Mississippi, and his proclamation noted how Computer Science for Mississippi (CS4MS), the ongoing partnership between the Mississippi Department of Education and RCU, is preparing students and teachers for the 21st century. 

Governor Phil Bryant signed a proclamation this month declaring December as Computer Science Education Month in Mississippi and noted the ongoing partnership between the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and Mississippi State University’s Research and Curriculum Unit (RCU) to better prepare students and teachers for the 21st century.

The MDE-RCU partnership, Computer Science for Mississippi (CS4MS), aims to have a continuous K-12 computer science pipeline in place for all Mississippi public schools by 2024. Computers and software impact every profession, including medicine, energy, entertainment and agriculture. With computer science knowledge, Mississippi’s students can compete for jobs alongside candidates from any other state or country.

MDE recognizes how critical computer science skills are to the future of students and appreciates the CS4MS partnership with the RCU, said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

“Every student should have the opportunity to learn vital skills for a productive career. Computer science is now a part of the necessary foundational knowledge for students, and we believe this effort will open doors to successful careers for students, which will improve the state’s economy,” Wright said.

MDE launched the CS4MS pilot program in 34 school districts during the 2016-2017 academic year. RCU staff researched how other states successfully implement computer science programs into public schools, set initial standards, structured the program and facilitated the creation of a steering committee comprised of K-12, higher education and industry representatives.

Fifty-two districts participated in the program’s second year, which allowed the initiative to reach more than 15,000 students.

A three-year, $700,000 National Science Foundation grant will help the RCU and MSU College of Education provide professional development and training to computer science educators.

Bryant’s proclamation also noted more than 126 Mississippi schools, districts and community centers have registered to participate in the Hour of Code, a collaborative event designed to boost students’ understanding of the coding process, during Computer Science Education Week, which runs Dec. 4-10.

The RCU will help facilitate Hour of Code events for three school districts – Calhoun County, McComb and Quitman – in which students will participate in hands-on activities during the school day, while community members learn more about computer science in the evening. School administrators and counselors will also learn how they can incorporate computer science into course offerings for the next school year.

Click here to download the governor's proclamation.

To learn more about CS4MS, visit cs4ms.org, and visit hourofcode.com/us for more information on the Hour of Code.