Computer Science

Texas Representative Introduces CS Curriculum Initiative

In an effort to increase access to computer science (CS) education, Congressman Will Hurd (R-Texas) yesterday announced an initiative to train middle school math teachers on how to implement coding concepts into their math classes. The initiative aims to build a strong pipeline of qualified STEM workers for future generations by introducing students to CS prior to high school.

“Every chance I get, I tell young people about the opportunities that a computer science education can provide,” Hurd wrote in the announcement. “Many are shocked to learn that although an estimated 42,000 computing jobs are waiting to be filled in Texas, only 2,100 computer scientists graduated from Texas schools last year. Students are even more interested to learn that the average salary of a computer science professional is more than $85,000 …. Offering tech education early on not only serves as the foundation for continued education in high school and beyond, but it also exposes students to the jobs we will need to fill in the future.”

The curriculum initiative was designed in partnership with The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for STEM Education and Bootstrap, and sponsored by several tech companies, including DellFacebook and Brocade. The partners will instruct eighth grade math teachers to use “easily adoptable curriculum consistent with national and state math standards,” according to the initiative 
web page. Using Bootstrap, teachers will receive training on the following:

  • Word problems;
  • Planes and graphing;
  • Functions and variables;
  • Function composition;
  • Inequalities in the plane; and
  • The Pythagorean theorem.

Middle school teachers located in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, or schools that serve a considerable amount of students in the 23rd district, are eligible to apply for the next three-day training workshop taking place March 23-25 in San Antonio, TX. The event is limited to 40 participants and registration costs $75. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31.  

To learn more about Texas' CS initiative, watch the video below. Further information can be found here.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].