New Computer Science Offerings Highlight Expanded STEM Program
By Michael Babler,??Director of Instructional Technology
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment demand in the technology sector is set to increase nearly 20% by 2024 with the addition of 240,000 new jobs across computer science related fields.
Coding and programming have become two hot-button topics in the education field recently. ??This past January, President Obama???s CS for All initiative increased nationwide awareness of the need for more attention in the Computer Science field. ??While there have been some programs and select schools in the past that have emphasized the skills found in computer science, the high demand across career fields for employees with these skills has prompted a more focused effort on K-12 computer science education.
Last year, for the first time, all students in grades PreK-12 at Divine Savior Academy participated in the Hour of Code, a global effort designed to give even the youngest students experience with the logic and thinking needed to code. ??With backing from major companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, the Hour of Code has reached over a million students in the three years it has taken place. ??While Divine Savior Academy???s participation in the Hour of Code will continue, computer science is an area that needed more attention.
In addition to a redesigned Web Design course, Divine Savior Academy has added the College Board???s brand new AP Computer Science Principles course. ??Of students who took AP exams in computer science in 2015, only 22% were girls and only 13% were African-American or Latino. ??Conversely, at Divine Savior Academy, 44% of students in our computer science classes are female and over 80% are Latino. ??Also worth noting is the fact that 97% of the students in computer science classes are taking a code-based class for the first time.
Students also have opportunities to develop their computer science knowledge and skills outside of normal coursework by joining the newly-formed Coding Club. ??This club focuses on individual areas of interest within the broad realm of programming. ??Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in nationwide competitions like the Verizon App Challenge and the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.
At Divine Savior Academy, we recognize the importance of the skills that are gained through experience with computer science, whether or not students ultimately make that their chosen career. ??The critical thinking skills, logical operations, and self-paced nature of computer science can benefit a student in whatever future career path they choose.
Divine Savior Academy is a Christian academy dedicated to excellence. With campuses in Doral and Delray Beach, the school is part of one of the largest private school systems in the country and has over 165 years of educational experience. Divine Savior serves students in preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school with college-prep academics in a Christian environment. To schedule a private tour,visit DivineSaviorAcademy.com.??