Teachers, Students Meet Legislators in First Ohio Computer Science Advocacy Day
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Dec. 10, 2019) – Seeking expanded computer science education across the state, teachers and students from 26 Ohio schools will gather at the Ohio Statehouse for the first-ever Computer Science Advocacy day. More than 130 students and 40 teachers will meet with local legislators.
The Ohio STEM Learning Network, which is managed by Battelle, and Project Lead The Way sponsored the Computer Science Advocacy Day. These partners are joined by other members of the CSforOH coalition including The Association of Computing Machinery Women's Chapter at Ohio State University, Code.org, CSforCLE, H.E.R. Academy, National Center for Women & Information Technology, Ohio Computer Science Teachers Association, Ohio State University's chapter of STEMCoding, and TECH CORPS.
The CSforOH coalition will promote two policies to Ohio legislators. First, to call for the creation of plan for computer science education in Ohio. Second, to modernize Ohio's laws for the licensure and preparation of new computer science teachers.
The coalition also will present Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted and State Representative Rick Carfagna with awards as the 2019 "Ohio Champions of Computer Science." Lieutenant Governor Husted will be recognized for his role in advocating for funding for computer science in the latest state budget. Representative Carfagna will be recognized for co-sponsoring H.B. 170 to allow computer science courses to count towards an Ohio high school diploma and his engagement with the Ohio computer science education community.
“Computers and computational thinking have transformed our modern world,” said Wes Hall, Interim Senior Vice President of Education & Philanthropy. “Every student deserves to learn the fundamental concepts of computer science and compete for tomorrow’s high-tech jobs.”
Ohio must grow the state's computer science workforce to stay economically competitive. Just this year, there are more than 14,000 computing jobs open in Ohio. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, these jobs offer an average salary of $86,000. This translates to a $1.2 billion economic opportunity.
“The world is rapidly evolving, and students with skills that are in high-demand across industries will thrive,” said Vince Bertram, President and Chief Executive Officer of Project Lead The Way. “Computational thinking, communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills developed in computer science education empower students with knowledge and skills no matter what career path they choose.”
Meeting today's workforce needs and the growing demand for computing knowledge in every job means changing what schools teach. Most school districts (63%) in Ohio don’t teach high school computer science.
Battelle manages the Ohio STEM Learning Network as part of the company’s commitment to preparing the next generation of innovators. The network was founded in 2008 and today represents 69 STEM schools across the state.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.
About Project Lead the Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a mission-driven organization that is transforming the learning experience for millions of PreK-12 students and thousands of teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. Approximately 12,200 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.