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Computer Science Education Week Highlights Role of CS in Driving Innovation

Urges Parents, Teachers to Raise Awareness of Computing through Local Actions

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2011—Few careers rival computer science in providing opportunities to develop innovative solutions to challenging issues facing the global economy.  The third annual Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), December 4-10, underscores the need for strong computer science education programs to ensure that the nation has the skilled workforce it needs to develop solutions. Building on the success of previous CSEdWeek events, this effort urges local participation by parents and teachers to call attention to these issues, and elevate the status and quality of computer science education. 

            “We’re appealing to parents, students, educators, universities and corporations to help raise awareness of the critical role that computing plays in preparing students for 21st century jobs,” said John R. White, CEO of ACM, a leader in the development of Computer Science Education Week and founder of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).  “Through efforts like CSEdWeek, we want to communicate the exciting career opportunities available to students exposed to a quality computing education.  They will be the scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians who will create the new ideas, new products, and entirely new industries of the 21st century.” 

            White cited a recent report from ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and CSTA, which found that while current projections show the creation of 800,000 new computing jobs by 2018, only nine states count high school computer science courses as a core academic subject in graduation requirements. The report, Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K–12 Computer Science in the Digital Age, also found that Kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) computer science education suffers from a lack of teacher professional development, quality curriculum, student diversity and teacher certification.  

            To date, CSEdWeek has registered more than 2,100 pledges of support by organizations such as Microsoft, CA Technologies, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Change the Equation, the National Science Foundation, the National Girls Collaborative, the American Association of Engineering Education, Math for America, Code for Humanity, and others.  In addition, communities and individuals throughout the U.S. and Canada have initiated local events to bring attention to the need for quality computing education at the K-12 level.  The CSEdWeek website houses many resources and tools, an online event planning toolkit, reports and statistics, lesson plans and event listings as well as links to the official CSEdWeek communities on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among many others. 

            CSEdWeek is a collaborative activity of Computing in the Core (CinC), a non-partisan advocacy coalition of associations, corporations, scientific societies, and other nonprofits that strive to elevate computer science education to a core academic subject in K-12 education.  CSEdWeek’s core partners are ACM, Microsoft, Google, CSTA, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), IEEE Computer Society, Computing Research Association, College Board, Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, SAS, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and National Science Teachers Association. 

            CSEdWeek is held the second week in December in honor of Grace Murray Hopper, an outstanding pioneer in computer science, who was born on December 9, 1906. She engineered new programming languages and developed standards for computer systems that laid the foundation for many advances in computer science from the late 1940s through the 1970s.  CSEdWeek was endorsed by the U.S. House of Representatives to acknowledge the critical role computer science education plays in K-12 and in higher education. 


About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.