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CodeCrew Receives NSF Grant to Increase Computer Science Education

CodeCrew Receives NSF Grant to Increase Computer Science Education in More Than 70 Tennessee School Districts


Only Half of the Schools in the State Currently Teach Computer Science

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 8:00 AM CDT


MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- CodeCrew, a Memphis-based non-profit that empowers children and adults in underrepresented communities to be tech innovators and leaders, and CSforALL will share in a nearly one million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase computer science education (K-12) throughout the state of Tennessee.

The funds from the three-year grant will be used to leverage the Strategic CSforALL Resource and Implementation Planning Tool (SCRIPT) to create opportunities for local facilitator training throughout the state. CodeCrew will execute the training beginning in the Spring of 2022.

Currently, only half of the schools in Tennessee teach computer science. This project will raise awareness for the need to implement computer science across the state and empower local school leaders to design and execute plans to increase their computer science capacity. This will result in increased access to and participation in computer science learning opportunities across the state, reaching at least 45% of Tennessee school districts. "The jobs of today and tomorrow increasingly rely on technology," said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. "This NSF grant and its focus on preparing school districts across the state to teach computer science aligns closely with our Future Workforce Initiative. With both of these innovative initiatives statewide, we intend to make Tennessee a top state for job creation in STEM."

CodeCrew will conduct workshops, educating facilitators in over 70 school districts in Tennessee on how to implement SCRIPT. Workshops will include a series of collaborative visioning, self-assessment, and goal-setting exercises that will create and/or expand a computer science education implementation plan for their K-12 students. Local facilitators will include district administrators, school leaders, and educators. "CodeCrew is excited to have landed our first NSF grant with our partners at CSforALL," said Meka Egwuekwe, CodeCrew Executive Director. "Our work will increase and positively impact computer science education on a statewide level. Computer science education is foundational, and this grant will help ensure we are strategic as we guide Tennessee school districts in bringing the incredible value of computer science education to our state's students."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. These occupations are projected to add about 667,600 new jobs.

The awarding of the grant comes at a time when state leaders are emphasizing the importance of increased computer science education. Bill HB0754 / SB1427 will be taken up in the next legislative session, which will require all Tennessee school districts, within five years, to offer computer science classes to students, high school and elementary school funding for teachers to be trained to teach computer science, and that schools report annually on computer science accessibility.

Of the nearly 2,000 kids CodeCrew serves weekly, 91% are Black and Hispanic youth, 47% are girls, and, overall, 89% of students are more likely to study computer science. In CodeCrew's adult program, after training, the annual starting salary for Code School graduates in the computer science field is approximately $55,000. Prior to CodeCrew training, the annual starting salary for Code School graduates was approximately $16,500.

About CodeCrew CodeCrew is a non-profit tech organization that empowers youth and adults from underrepresented communities in Memphis to become tech innovators and producers through practical, hands-on computer science education and training. For more information about CodeCrew, visit www.code-crew.org.

About CSforALL CSforALL's mission is to make high-quality computer science an integral part of the educational experience of all K-12 students and teachers and to support student pathways to college and career success.

Media Contact: Wayne Henninger, Wayne Henninger Communications – wayne@waynehenninger.com


Check out the Upper Michigan Source article here

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