Computer Science for All Initiative: Empowering the U.S. with STEM Education

By Phill Powell

It’s an important message generated by the nation’s highest elected office – straight from President Barack Obama himself. It’s about how to make young Americans better prepared for their futures.


STEM education is a cause dear to Obama’s heart, as you can tell from these comments.

The Obama Administration is putting its presidential clout behind the push to get more tech education into America’s public school systems. The result: The White House Computer Science for All Initiative (“CS for All”), a drive to promote the funding needed to turn U.S. classrooms into technology think tanks.

Obama staked out the problem during a Dec. 2014 press event. “Part of what we’re realizing,” he said, “Is that we’re starting too late when it comes to making sure that our young people are familiar with not just how to play a video game, but how to create a video game.”

Coding skills are the answer to that problem, and to building a thriving U.S. economy that can supply all the properly trained workers that tech industries require. CS for All has two goals: 1) Help students reach their full academic potential through coding skills; and 2) Strengthen the U.S. economy by producing coding-savvy students who can emerge as tech-savvy workers.

Now comes a multi-part plan to attack the problem from a number of angles.

AN AMBITIOUS PLAN

A big portion of the CS for All plan involves spreading the news about coding – especially through social media – and making it a popular activity that kids will consider cool and worth their time and effort.

But a lot of the plan comes down to money – and coming up with additional funding for schools so they can bring tech ed programs to their students:

  • The initiative recommends the use of $4 billion, to be given to states to increase tech ed curriculums.
  • Also suggested: Making $135 million for CS school funding available through the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
  • Another $100 million is advocated in the plan to be targeted for specific school districts.

DMA_coder
We can show you how to code in our cool programming camps and app development courses.

THINK GLOBALLY & CODE LOCALLY

CS for All is putting the word out that there are steps that can be taken by nearly anyone to advance the cause of U.S. coding knowledge:

  • Kids & Teens This one’s simple. The most important way young people can get behind this effort is to actually go ahead and learn to code. (We can help you learn to code this summer.) Then, once you’ve mastered coding, let others know about it. Post photos online of you and your class learning to code.
  • Parents Encourage your kid to code, as soon as possible, and let them know how important you think it is to their future. Beyond that, find out what resources your child’s school has for teaching tech. If it’s underfunded, reach out to the school to see how you can help. Also: Vote for local and state initiatives that put tech education front and center.
  • Educators Teachers who are already working on their own to come up with creative ways to impart coding skills to students should notify the CS for All program and submit their story to the Champions of Change tribute page, where their innovative methods can be studied by other educators looking for fresh techniques of coding instruction.

Find out more about the CS for All initiative.

Obama_on_code
Empowering yourself and making the U.S. stronger? That’s worth a fist bump from the Coder-in-Chief!

COME CODE WITH US THIS SUMMER!

Coding is easy and fun to learn, but it’s best enjoyed when you can be guided through its ins and outs by a talented tech educator who knows how to connect mentally with young learners.

This summer is shaping up to be Digital Media Academy’s biggest camp season ever, and we’ve got a bunch of great programming and app development courses ready for our students. There’s a perfect coding camp, course or academy for every kid (ages 6-12) and teenager (12-17).

We even have special programming camps for young kids (ages 6-8)!

And for teens who really want to explore the subject more deeply, there are DMA’s two week programming academies, a perfect pre-collegiate experience that gives teens a chance to progress even further.

DMA can even help you learn programming online, with one of the great DMA Online courses!

If you’ve ever been curious about coding, come learn it at DMA this summer, at one of the great DMA tech camp locations in the U.S. and Canada.

DMA Spring Savings are now in effect!