I believe that computer science should be available for EVERY CHILD.
The idea of “computer science for all” sounds daunting at first. In 2020, only 423 high school students in Washington DC took the AP Computer Science exam. This must change.
Part of what makes our goal seem so daunting is that when people think of computer science instruction, they imagine intensive bootcamp coding classes. It feels out of reach.
I’m here to tell you that at the middle school level, computer science is very accessible. At Digital Pioneers, we don’t have dedicated computer science teachers in our lower grades. Our math teachers teach math and computer science and are able incorporate project-based computer science concepts into the curriculum. The teachers love it. And so do the kids.
We start early because it’s helpful to think of computer science as a foreign language. The malleability of our scholars’ young brains means the earlier you introduce the material, the stickier it becomes. You don’t expect students to become fluent in Spanish with just 4 years of high school Spanish. But immerse them in it when they’re young…that’s another story entirely.
Computer science should be a course that begins as early as elementary school. It should be a core subject, much like math and ELA. It also should be a graduation requirement.
Not an elective.
Not an after school program.
A computer science education should not just be for kids who attend affluent private or suburban schools.
It should be for EVERY CHILD.