Computer Science Education Week is this week, December 4-10, 2017. The week is dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science, and was chosen to recognize the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).
The Hour of Code is the big national centerpiece event for this week. However, there are a number of opportunities to get involved locally and support this effort beyond this week. Below, we have compiled a list of ways to get involved –
- Provide students with opportunities to experience computer science and the world of information technology up close.
One of the reasons that students are not choosing to pursue a career in computer science or information technology is because they do not have any knowledge or experience with career options in the field.
Get involved by:
- Hosting a Tech Experience Tour.
The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) is partnering with Talent Software Services to provide unique Tech Experience Tours for students interested in learning more about informational technology and the high tech business world. Any number of companies of any size can participate, and a single company could host an event or partner with nearby companies to host joint events. Learn more here!
- Participating in a Job Shadowing Day
MHTA is working with some partners to organize a state-wide job shadowing day for students who would be interested in learning more about IT and computer science. Contact us if you would like to participate as an individual or as a company.
- Support and assist in recruiting volunteers from your company for IT-interest programs
MHTA partners with and supports a number of education programs designed to encourage and inspire students to become more involved in computers, technology, and coding.
Get involved by:
- Signing up as a STEM Ambassador on getSTEM. Ambassadors are volunteers who might visit a classroom, volunteer at career fairs, and/or offer company tours
This spring, teachers will be looking for a new voice in the classroom to break up the routine. Sign up and be that person!
- Participating in one-time volunteer opportunities like hackathons and coding days
A number of national and local organization hold one-day events to inspire and engage students in computer science and coding.
- Volunteering for on-going opportunities with organizations that provide coding/computer programs for students.
Dare to inspire! Check out this listing of organizations.
- Support IT-experience programs
MHTA also supports programs that help prepare individuals to enter the IT workforce, participate in internships, and help students learn about careers in the IT sector.
Get involved by:
- Using getSTEM to provide job shadowing, mentoring, and/or offering company tours on an ongoing basis
We have connections planned for the new year, but you can make a general offer where folks can contact you and arrange a convenient time. Take the initiative!
- Participating in high school internship programs
A number of high schools across the Twin Cities have received funding for IT Academies in their schools. They are looking for partners to help provide real-world context for students as they are studying computer science. Help them make the connection!
- Creating a summer program for teachers to learn more about the IT industry to share with their students
An important element in effective education includes professional development for teachers. MHTA works with the local chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) to assist with that effort. Contact us about getting involved!
- Providing entry-level opportunities of trained adult workers
A number of organizations are working with young adults or retrained workers to introduce them to IT and computing. Contact us about learning more about how to participate.
- Check out this listing of organizations already involved in this effort
- Support the MHTA Foundation’s Education & Workforce programs
The MHTA Foundation is supporting students through its STEM scholarships and hands-on experiences like the Tech Experience Tours, communicating the need for STEM-educated college graduates, and partnering with the local science and technology community to build strong connections and resources.
By providing financial support to young people pursuing careers in IT or STEM teaching, you can facilitate unique opportunities for students to meet Minnesota business leaders and network into future internships and careers.
It will take a united effort of education, business, and the community to build the future IT workforce. Be part of the solution by getting involved!