In a move to strengthen K-12 computer science education, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded two non-profits nearly $1 million to increase computer science education throughout the state of Tennessee.

In a press release, the two non-profits – CodeCrew and CSforALL – said they will use the three-year grant to “leverage the Strategic CSforALL Resource and Implementation Planning Tool (SCRIPT) to create opportunities for local facilitator training throughout the state.” CodeCrew will launch the training beginning in the Spring of 2022.

As part of the training program, CodeCrew will conduct workshops, educating facilitators in over 70 school districts in Tennessee on how to implement SCRIPT. CodeCrew, which focuses on working with children and adults in underrepresented communities, said the workshops will include a series of collaborative visioning, self-assessment, and goal-setting exercises that will help either create or expand a computer science education implementation plan for their K-12 students. Local facilitators will include district administrators, school leaders, and educators.

“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.”

The new training program aligns with initiatives already underway from Gov. Lee’s office and the state legislator. Under the next legislative session, state leaders are expected to take up two new bills that would require all Tennessee school districts, within five years: to offer computer science classes to students; to provide funding to train high school and elementary school teachers in computer science instruction; to report annually on computer science accessibility.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs