Carlen Blackstone, a computer science teacher at , organized a at the high school last night as part of National Computer Science Education Week. Blackstone wanted to shine some light on the accomplishments of East Penn students in the field of computer science and to point out how .
These are some of the key messages that Blackstone wants people to consider:
1. Computer science is key to solving the world’s most crucial problems -- environmental sustainability, poverty, hunger and homeland security. It can give the power to shape one’s future and possibly change the world, solving issues that face the world today or invent a great innovation to make the world a better place. Computer science involves problem solving, computational thinking and abstract reasoning.
2. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that computing-based jobs will be among the fastest-growing and highest-paying over the next decade. Many careers involving computers offer flexible hours or telecommuting, making it easier to blend a career with a personal life. Computer science professionals have knowledge and skills that can be used in many jobs, ensuring a lifetime of flexibility.
3. By the year 2018, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist jobs available, but only enough college graduates to fill a fraction of them. Students need to be taught computer programming in addition to computer operations. College graduates who are able to create new programs and ideas will be desperately needed and must be taught these skills now.
4. Kindergarten through grade 12 education has fallen behind in preparing students with the fundamental computer science knowledge they need for 21st century careers. As the role and significance of computing has grown, the teaching of computer science has declined. There is insufficient curriculum for students at all grade levels, giving too few students the opportunity to study computer science properly. Teachers have little opportunity for their own development in computing and certification for computer science teachers is virtually nonexistent nationwide.
5. Computer science needs more people and more diversity. The modern world relies on information technologies, but is producing too few computer scientists to meet its needs. Currently, most computer scientists are White and Asian males, which is one of the shrinking demographics in society. Using more women and under-represented minorities, more jobs could be filled and a more diverse range of perspectives would increase design creativity and innovation in computing technology.