White House recognizes SCSU computer science outreach

SCSU

NEW HAVEN Conn. (WTNH) — Southern Connecticut State University science education programs catching the attention of the White House.

The notice coming in response to President Obama’s “computer science for all initiative”. SCSU was highlighted by the White House for the expanded access to science education for grades K to 12.

SCSU recently submitted materials to the White House that showcase the university’s push. Lisa Lancor, chairwoman of the SCSU Computer Science Department, and Winnie Yu, a computer science professor coordinating this effort, were notified last Friday that Southern would be recognized.

“It is great to see this national effort to expand computer science offerings at the K-12 level – an initiative that is certainly needed. We are merely tying in what we’ve been doing, and it is wonderful to see that the White House is recognizing our contributions” said Lisa Lancor, the chairwoman of the SCSU Computer Science Department.

The three principal SCSU projects are:

  1. A commitment to increase the number of women majoring in computer science at SCSU from the current 13.8 percent to 25 percent within two years. It is part of SCSU’s participation in the National Center for Women in Technology’s Pacesetters program.
  2. A training program for high school teachers on mobile computing so that the teachers can more effectively teach their students. Mobile computing is being taught in more than 200 schools across the country, including some in Connecticut.
  3. A mentoring program in which at least 10 Southern computer science students will conduct weekly, after-school mini program lessons in computer programming to 20-30 middle school students at Beecher Museum Magnet School of the Arts and Sciences in New Haven. The program began more than a year ago.

According to the White House, nine out of 10 parents would like computer science to be taught at their child’s school, but by some estimates, only a quarter of K-12 schools offer a computer science course with programming included. The need for such skills across industries continues to grow rapidly, with 51 percent of all STEM jobs projected to be in computer science-related fields by 2018.

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