Grants Provided to Further Computer Science Education
Students in several communities across Washington will be on the cutting edge of technology, thanks to new Computer Science grants provided by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
Twenty-one grants were provided to districts, schools, educational service districts, non-profits, and higher education institutions to improve technological literacy among students.
The grants allow recipients to train teachers and provide and upgrade technology. In addition, the grants expand computer science access to groups of students who have historically been underrepresented in computer science programs and careers.
“The opportunities provided by the OSPI Computer Science grant will continue to have high impact in our region,” said Dr. Kareen Borders, Executive Director of West Sound STEM Network, who receives grant funds with South Kitsap School District as the backbone agency and in collaboration with school districts across the region. “When teachers connect directly with industry leaders who use computational thinking on a daily basis, pathways are solidified.”
The West Sound STEM Network is a collaborative public-private regional network focused on developing, implementing, and scaling systems that provide opportunities for students to obtain postsecondary credentials and family-wage careers in the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas.
This funding allowed West Sound STEM to develop “STEM Cafés” for educators. One such event last summer introduced counselors, administrators, library directors, tribal representatives, and teachers from every grade band to controls programming. Controls programming is the coding that drives automation in the workplaces of tomorrow, from software developers to distribution centers.
That professional development opportunity culminated in the development and planning of on-ramps for career launch programs in high schools around the area.
“Computer science pathways are an important part of learning experiences for our students,” said Tim Winter, Superintendent of South Kitsap School District.
The State Legislature provided $1 million for computer science education grant funding in 2018. The state grant funds will be matched equally by private sources, which effectively doubles the total grant amount to $2 million.
Washington state’s Computer Science K–12 Learning Standards must be used in the implementation of the grant projects.
2019–20 Computer Science grantees:
- Aberdeen School District
- Bellingham School District
- Capital Region ESD 113
- Columbia Basin College
- Ephrata School District
- ESD 112
- FIRST Washington Robotics
- Hoquiam School District
- Kettle Falls School District
- Mabton School District
- Othello School District
- Science and Math Institute (Tacoma)
- Selah School District
- Sequim School District
- Shoreline School District
- South Kitsap School District
- TechBridge Girls
- Vancouver Public Schools
- West Valley School District (Yakima)
- WSU Tri-Cities
- Yelm School District