SFAz and GCU receive 100K from Verizon for Computer Science Education
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Posted by: Linda Coyle
Science Foundation Arizona Announces Support of Computer Science
Education Initiative in Arizona to Train 270 Teachers, Impacting 8,000 Students
A $100,000 Grant by Verizon to Help Students
Earn High-Wage Jobs
After Graduation, Close Skills Gap
PHOENIX – September 28, 2017 – Science
(SFAz), in partnership with Grand Canyon University (GCU) and Code.org, today announced it has received a $100,000
grant from the Verizon Foundation.
Through the grant, SFAz and GCU, as part of the Code.org Computer
Science Regional Partnership program, will provide computer science training to
30 high school teachers in Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles,
and support 36 teachers in Computer Science Discoveries for Grades 7-9 and 240
K-6 teachers in Code.org’s Computer Science Fundamentals program. With training
accessible throughout the state, more than 8,000 students in urban, rural and
reservation settings will ultimately be impacted by this initiative. The
training began in July and will continue over four quarterly workshops. A third
cohort of teachers will be supported in June 2018.
According to a report published by Change the Equation, a national coalition working to
ensure that every young person in the U.S. is STEM literate, Arizona is
projected to be number two in computing job growth and number four in STEM job
growth overall in the next 10 years. Yet, only one in four schools in Arizona
offer the computer science curriculum and there are fewer AP exams taken in
computer science than in any other STEM subject area (Code.org 2016). The
Verizon-funded Code.org Computer Science Regional Partnership program will work
to close the gap between the current workforce void and the desperate need to
build a pipeline of skilled workers from today’s education community.
Because educators are the key link between what is
and what will be, the pipeline starts with them. Through the partnership,
teachers attend training workshops hosted by SFAz and GCU on topics such as
computational thinking practices, data analysis, abstraction, algorithms and
programming, so they can return to their classrooms armed with new skills to
share with their students. Verizon’s investment will expand an already
blossoming program by providing support to cover teacher training, workshops,
business/school partnerships and a spring computer science fair.
VP-State Government Affairs with Verizon, said, "We need more kids to see the world of possibilities waiting for
them and we are happy to be joining with SFAz and GCU to provide computer
science training skills across the state.
Long-term growth and success are tied to addressing some of society’s
biggest issues and it starts in education. We are proud to be part of this
exciting initiative for teachers and students”.
There are four million jobs in STEM across the
U.S., however millions of students, especially from underserved communities
don’t know they exist and lack access to STEM education and technology they
need to compete for these jobs. This is
why Verizon has committed $160 million in free technology, free access and
immersive hands-on learning to kids in need.
And earlier this year, Verizon launched #weeneedmore, an effort dedicated to creating greater
awareness of this issue.
"Science Foundation Arizona is proud to
partner with Verizon to meet the needs of Arizona, bringing computer science
programs to our teachers and students,” said Linda Coyle, director of education at SFAz. "With strong industry
partners and support from the state, we truly can provide a ‘Computer Science
Education for All.’”
Code.org training has provided me, a math teacher, with an opportunity to offer
Computer Science (CS) for the first time at my school!’ said teacher Jennifer
Tom from the Salt River Schools. "The integration of CS and robotics engages my
Native American students to problem solve, trying new things, take chances and
persevere through difficult tasks--all necessary skills for life.”
Already in 2016, Code.org and the Code.org Regional
Computer Science Partnership program has provided training for 437 Arizona
teachers in Computer Science Fundamentals (K-5), 31 teachers in Exploring Computer
Science, and nine teachers in Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles
with additional support from Go Daddy and Amazon. This year’s program began
July 10th at GCU and runs through spring 2018.
is proud to be involved with Arizona's computer science initiative through
the Governor's Partnership on Computer Science, a Code.org collaboration. Last year,
he proposed and received funding to develop computer science standards and
professional development with the goal of having all AZ high schools
offer a computer science course.
the importance of computer science education in all grade levels," said Governor Ducey. "In lower grades,
computer science curriculum develops necessary critical thinking and problem
solving skills. In high school, rigorous computer science coursework prepares
the student for high-paying workforce opportunities in the high-demand
technology sector. With the support of industry partnerships, we will strive to
improve access to computer science education in our schools by increasing
professional development opportunities for existing and new computer science
Coding is receiving increasing attention
nationwide. President Trump is directing the Department
of Education to provide $200 million every year to K-12 computer science
education, according to
Techcrunch.com, and several businesses recently announced $300
million for K-12 computer science programs in the U.S, according to Fox Business.com.
For more information about the Code.org Regional
Computer Science Partnership in Arizona, and
sponsorship opportunities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, visit http://stem.sfaz.org/ or call (602) 616-3652.
About Science Foundation
Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit
organization initiated in 2006 by the Greater Phoenix Leadership Inc., Southern
Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty in conjunction with the
executive and legislative branches of State government. SFAz serves as a
catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based jobs and economic diversity through
administration and strict oversight of research, development and education
grants to public education and other non-profit research performing
institutions. For more information, visit www.sfaz.org and like us on Facebook.
About the Verizon Foundation
Innovative Learning is an initiative of the Verizon Foundation to bring free technology and access to
hands-on, immersive learning experiences to youth in need to prepare them to
thrive in a digital economy. With a commitment of $160 million, Verizon is
impacting 300,000 students and 7,400 teachers nationwide. This year, Verizon
launched #weneedmore, an effort to bring more attention to the critical need
for more young people to discover the possibilities in STEM fields. Visit www.weneedmore.com.