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The National Science Foundation has awarded the Georgia Department of Education a $300,000 grant to align and support the efforts of several Georgia school districts that are introducing K-12 computer science education.

GaDOE will work collaboratively with Wiregrass Technical College, Atlanta Public Schools, Douglas County Schools, Ben Hill County Schools, Brooks County Schools, and Thomas County Schools to pilot “Aligning for Impact: Computer Science Pathways Across Contexts.” Together, the partners will create plans for sustainable efforts that ensure diverse participation in computer science across urban, suburban or rural areas.

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“This grant will contribute to Georgia’s ongoing work to expand computer science opportunities across the state for all students,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Computer science courses offer students at all grade levels the foundational skills they need for learning across many subjects and lay the foundation for emerging careers in the 21st century.”

Ultimately, the project goal is the development of a coherent framework for aligning K-12 computer science education pathways. With GaDOE’s coordination, these school districts will collaboratively seek improvements in their own student participation rates.

“Learning computer science should be about making, tinkering, and creating across all grade levels,” Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Dr. Caitlin McMunn Dooley said. “We are thrilled to have some of our districts partner with us to learn together as we broaden access to K-12 computer science education. Almost every job in the future will involve computing, so we see computer science education as providing foundational knowledge and skills for all students.”

This grant-funded project is part of the NSF Includes Design and Development Launch Pilots. The Georgia Department of Education received one of the 27 grants awarded nationally. All projects are intended to work toward systemic change and improve student participation rates in STEM, especially in underrepresented populations.

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