LARAMIE — As technology becomes more ingrained with everyday life, skills in computer science are becoming increasingly necessary to compete in the modern world.

After recently receiving $1 million from the National Science Foundation’s CS for All grant, Wyoming’s Schools and Libraries Integration Computer Science in Education program at the University of Wyoming is working to create three years of professional development opportunities for kindergarten-eighth grade teachers as well as public and school librarians.

WySLICE is a way to start working towards achieving a requirement passed by the Wyoming Legislature in the 2018 session. The bill, Senate File 29, mandates computer science to be taught to all Wyoming students by 2022. Still very early in the process of implementing the legislation, the State Board of Education just voted to approve the first teaching standards for the subject in March.

As school districts work to find ways to fulfill the mandate, the WySLICE program is a potential solution. The grant will fund professional development workshops for 150 teachers around the state through the next three years, focusing on encouraging the integration of computer science into their individual subjects.

“What we’re trying to do is basically not change what teachers are doing, but just allow them to see there are some explicit connections that they can make with computer science,” said Mike Borowczak, primary investigator and project lead for WySLICE. “We’re not wanting to create an army of computer scientists, that’s not our objective; really, our objective is to just have exposure.”

 

By Jordan Achs

Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange