I’ve loved computers since I was a kid—teaching myself to code on a Commodore 64. In high school, when my friends spent their summers working at restaurants or babysitting, I was interning at local tech companies. Today, more than 20 years later, computing occupations have become the #1 source of all new wages in the United States, students rank computer science among their top favorite subjects to study, 90% of parents want their children to learn computer science in school, and yet the majority of schools do not teach computer science.
Computer science isn’t just important for students who want careers in tech—it’s foundational for every student who wants a well-rounded education, just like biology, chemistry, or algebra.
I founded Code.org with the vision that every student in every school should have the opportunity to study computer science.
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How university educators can help
Next week, December 5–11, marks Computer Science Education Week. I’d like to encourage educators globally to take advantage of this week to help pique students’ interest in computer science. University computer science departments can take advantage of this week to broaden participation in C.S. courses by recruiting and hosting students from outside their major to try an Hour of Code. Or, consider hosting a computer science fair to show off the work of the department, following the example of David Malan’s CS 50 Fair at Harvard University. Or mobilize existing computer science students to reach out to local schools, or volunteer to help host an Hour of Code in a local classroom. Here are other resources and ideas for CS educators to participate.
Even if you teach a field other than computer science, you can encourage students to try an Hour of Code to help familiarize themselves with the field. There’s not a single field of study that isn’t impacted by software, the internet, big data, or machine learning, and so your students can benefit from computer science regardless of their field of study.
Beyond CS Education Week
The goal of Code.org’s work is for every school to teach robust computer science courses, from K-12. We offer curriculum that’s used globally in hundreds of thousands of classrooms, and free professional learning to K-12 teachers in the United States. Together, with your help, we can incorporate computer science into the curriculum of public education, and prepare every child for the future.
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