Iowa STEM moves with Intel i7 speed on computer science

Lincoln Elementary School coding girls
Students at Lincoln Elementary School in Cedar Falls take on computer coding, an increasingly common sight across the state as a result of Code Iowa.

The Computer Science (CS) Working Group of the STEM Council is micro-processing at 4 GHz on a number of levels to realize our state’s leadership expectations in CS.

At this very moment, code (legal, not Java!) inspired by the group is winding through the state legislature. House File 2324 would require every Iowa high school to offer at least one high-quality computer science course by the 2018-19 school year. And in support of the roll-out, HF 2324 calls for a CS Advisory Council at the Department of Education to deliver by October 2016 recommendations for high quality standards, career-technical integration, graduation requirement options, course delivery modes, a K-12 CS pathway and licensure guidance.

Meanwhile, the STEM Council’s Working Group, co-led by Mark Gruwell and Ann Watts, is developing a CS teaching endorsement, surveying existent CS offerings across Iowa and studying course substitution and requirement models toward graduation. They expect to deliver all products by early summer.

And, Iowa is fortunate to have Mark, Ann and group member Craig Martinson involved in developing the K-12 CS Framework led by a national consortium organized by Code.org (Mark is on the writing team with Ann and Craig helping Code.org with dissemination planning). Targeted for distribution across the nation by September 2016, drafts of the Framework are being reviewed by Iowa’s CS Working Group as well.

Iowa operates squarely in the C: drive of national trends in computer science, equipping our youth to take a gigabyte of the future.

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