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JROTC-CS: A Collaboration for Equity & Scale

30 Air Force Junior ROTC High Schools Gathered in the Nation’s Capitol to Kickoff the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project

February 26–28, teams from 30 Air Force Junior ROTC high schools gathered in the nation’s capitol to kickoff the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project. The new project is an innovative public-private partnership aimed at bringing together administrators, computer science educators and the Junior ROTC instructors in their schools to engage more young students in computing and cybersecurity education pathways.

CS + JROTC simply makes sense, a perfect hybrid. Junior ROTC is the oldest and largest Department of Defense education program, serving around 545K students annually at over 3,400 high schools in the United States and Internationally. As a #CSforALL community, we need them on our team. However, today 68% of JROTC cadets don’t have the option to take AP (Advanced Placement) computer science at their school. But with the new JROTC-CS Demonstration Project, this percentage can be fixed!

“The Junior ROTC offers a uniquely scalable opportunity to rapidly grow and diversify the pool of talent entering computing and cybersecurity careers,” said Ruthe Farmer, Chief Evangelist, CSforALL. “These young people are already preparing to be leaders. In today’s environment, technology must be part of that preparation. ”

The participation of the 30 JROTC-CS pilot schools will inform the model for over 3400 JROTC host high schools across the US — CSforALL is grateful they’ve joined us on this journey.

Taking CS Message to the Hill

On Wednesday, February 26, 15 of the schools representing 13 states joined with JROTC-CS Advisory Consortium members to advocate for computer science and cybersecurity education with their Senators and Representatives.

Major Allen Williams, Air Force JROTC instructor at Aberdeen High School greets Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker

Many thanks to the staff from Intel, Microsoft, The College Board, the Business Software Alliance, Software.org, Snap Inc., Mississippi State University, and CompTIA for escorting the school teams on the Hill.

Charting a Course

Built on the CSforALL SCRIPT model, the teams spent two days crafting a plan for increasing CS and cybersecurity education capacity at their schools, as well as devising ways to engage the JROTC cadets in those pathways. The workshop included presentations from partners and curriculum providers, including NCWIT Counselors for Computing, cybersecurity education resources from NICERC, and presentations from the College Board and endorsed AP CS Principles PD providers to help them build or improve their CS offerings. Participating schools will receive funding for summer PD in AP CSP or cybersecurity from the provider of their choice.

“CSforALL launched the JROTC-CS program not to show as a “one answer” to expanding access to CS education, but as a high-quality program that is an important part of the landscape of how we can integrate high quality CS into the educational experience of every child, said Leigh Ann DeLyser, Executive Director, CSforALL. “By partnering with existing programs like JROTC that already support high quality outcomes for youth, CS education can reach the broadest population possible.”

Connecting with the Movement

A primary goal of this workshop was to connect the schools to the #CSforALL movement and community. CSforALL members NCWIT, Bootstrap, CSPDWeek.org, Beauty & Joy of Computing, Mobile CSP, UTeach Computer Science and founding members of the JROTC-CS Advisory Consortium Intel, Microsoft, Capital One, Lockheed Martin, Snap Inc., Google, The College Board, NICERC, and NICE were on hand with resources, advice and of course, SWAG.

Friday lunch featured an industry panel highlighting job and opportunities in computing and cybersecurity, including internship opportunities available to high school students.

CSforALL Chief Evangelist Ruthe Farmer led an industry panel featuring Carina Box from Google, Eric Church from Lockheed Martin, Brian Gonzalez from Intel, and Dr. Davina Pruitt Mentle representing the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE)

Making News

In addition to the workshop, the schools have enjoyed the limelight back home. Here’s a round-up of media coverage from across the country.

Many thanks to the US Patent and Trademark Office for hosting us in their beautiful space.

The JROTC-CS Demonstration Project is administered by CSforALL as a public-private partnership in collaboration with the US Air Force JROTC HQ, through the support and sponsorship of the JROTC-CS Advisory Consortium including:

Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot; U.S. Air Force Junior ROTC HQ; Capital One; Google; Intel Corporation; Lockheed Martin; Microsoft; Mississippi State University; National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE); National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC); SANS Institute; Snap Inc.; The College Board; The Internet Institute, Schmidt Futures

Stay tuned for more updates as this innovative project moves forward!

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Thoughts & conversations on the movement to bring rigorous, inclusive and sustainable computer science to all US students.

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CSforALL

CSforALL

The national hub for the Computer Science for All movement, making high-quality computer science education an integral part of K-12 education in the US.

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