Important Transferable Skills:
Computer science teaches transferable skills that are critical for all students; these include creative problem solving and creative thinking. CS requires students to work cooperatively, communicate their thinking, build problem solving stamina, and learn from their mistakes and persevere through challenges to reach a solution. Computer Science students also build their identities as creators and contributors, making a positive impact on real world problems. Studies show that children who study computer science perform better in other subjects, excel at problem-solving, and are 17% more likely to enroll in college.
A Critical Issue of Equity
There are major disparities in who has access to and engages in Computer Science. People of color, people in rural areas, women, English language learners, people with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged people are consistently underrepresented in computer science fields. K-12 CS education can improve these disparities.
By getting young students excited about computer science we can substantially impact the likelihood that they will elect to participate in high school computer science and beyond. Studies have shown that young women who try AP Computer Science in high school are 10 times more likely to major in computer science (source). We measure our success not only by the total number of students learning computer science, but also by the participation of students from underrepresented groups.
CS students have opportunities to experience computer science through screen-free “unplugged” learning activities, physical movement, robotics, on screen coding programs, and real world design challenges. Elementary students make “computers” out of paper, make their friends into “robots”, and tell animated stories by using visual block-based coding programs. Secondary students experience first hand how innovations in computer science impact all subject areas and can help make the world a better place. It’s no surprise that students who take computer science rank it among their favorite subjects to learn in school!
In addition to learning how to use technology to solve problems, computer science also offers students opportunities to build technology that expresses themselves and their ideas. Students feel connected to their learning when they get to see how it impacts their world and the things they care deeply about.