Mari N. St. Martin
Governor Brian Sandoval proclaimed December as Computer Science Careers Month in the Year of STEM and also announced he has joined the Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science, a nationwide network dedicated to expanding computer science education. Joining the partnership builds upon Nevada’s previous STEM education initiatives and will provide students with skills that will help them to succeed in school and in the jobs of the new Nevada.
“Computing is one of the top sources of new wages in our nation and there are thousands of current jobs and jobs of the future that will request skills in computer science. I believe it is critical that Nevada students have every option available to learn the necessary skills to begin a career in this exciting, high-wage, high-skilled field,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “This partnership with Code.org and College Board is an important first step toward providing great STEM and computer science access to classrooms across Nevada.”
Through this partnership, the Governor has committed to work collaboratively with his fellow governors along with business and education stakeholders here in Nevada on the following goals:
a. Enable all high schools to offer at least one rigorous computer science course;
b. Fund professional learning opportunities so teachers can be prepared to teach these courses; and,
c. Create a set of high-quality academic K12 computer science standards to guide local implementation of courses.
As a first step toward meeting these goals, Governor Sandoval, along with the Nevada Department of Education and the three Regional Professional Development Programs, have partnered with The College Board and Code.org on a pilot project to offer two new computer science courses, Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles and Computer Science Discoveries, in every school district in Nevada, beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.
AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. Students do not need to have previous coding experience to take this course. Computer Science Discoveries is a full year survey course targeted at middle school students. The College Board and Code.org will also work with the State and the Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program to provide the accompanying professional learning for teachers, counselors, and administrators in each district.
As part of this announcement, Governor Sandoval encourages all students and parents to learn more about careers in Information Technologies, computer programming, networking, and cybersecurity on the Nevada STEM Hub (stemhub.nv.gov) and participate in an Hour of Code event this month.
Additional Information on Nevada Computer Science Taskforce Efforts:
In 2016 Nevada became a leading state in advocating for including the 21st century skills of Computer Science and Computational Thinking into the K-12 education system. During the first part of 2016, Nevada was one of 14 states participating in the joint public/private development of the K-12 Computer Science Framework which describes what all students will need to know about Computer Science to succeed in a globally competitive world. This fall Nevada was one 5 states selected to join the 11 state Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance funded by the National Science Foundation. In October Nevada was one of four states invited by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to participate in the White House Symposium on Computer Science for All - State Policy Panel.