Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, State Department of Education Celebrate Computer Science Education Week
(HARTFORD, CT) Today, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz along with state Department of Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker are celebrating the beginning of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), which runs from December 6, 2021 through December 12, 2021.
CSEdWeek is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity in computer science education, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field. Each year, CSEdWeek emphasizes the importance of engaging students, teachers and policy makers to explore computer science and pursue policies that expand access to K–12 computer science and related STEM fields.
“Serving as chair on the Governor’s Council of Women and Girls, a major focus of our council has been exposing students, particularly women, to STEM related fields and careers where women are typically underrepresented. Allowing students to explore an interest in computer science early in their academic careers allows them to think about a future degree or career in computer science and STEM,” said Lt. Governor Bysiewicz. “Soon, we will be announcing the third annual Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge, and I am so excited to see once again all of the incredible ideas that our state’s students will bring to the table.”
Students who attend rural schools, urban schools, or schools with higher percentages of economically disadvantaged students are less likely to have access to computer science. States are working to broaden access and participation in computer science with policies to make computer science a fundamental part of the K–12 education system. In Connecticut, 89% of high school students attend a school that offers computer science, but only 5.3% of students are enrolled in a foundational computer science course.
“The Connecticut State Department of Education in committed to expanding access to computer science education and pathways in schools. In partnership with districts, the Governor’s Office, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, and community-based organizations, we are working towards our collective goal of inspiring a new, diverse wave of students to pursue careers in computer science and other STEM fields,” said Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker. “I am proud of the Department’s work with the Governor’s Council of Women and Girls on these initiatives, and we look forward to announcing the Lieutenant Governor’s Computing Challenge later this school year.”
Lt. Governor Bysiewicz will host a “Women Leading in Information Technology Panel” on Monday, December 6th. She will be hosting the panel alongside Carolyn Alessi, the State Chair for Million Women Mentors Connecticut. On Tuesday, December 7th, the Lt. Governor will visit Nathan Hale Elementary School in Meriden to meet with a computer science class. Meriden students will be engaged in coding activities as part of their district-wide celebration of Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code.
The Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge will enter its third year in 2022, with the launch of the challenge and theme to be announced in January. Eligibility to enter the challenge is open to students grades 3 through 12 with three different options of participation, allowing the ability for students with no computer science experience to those that are well versed in the subject the opportunity to participate.
The Lt. Governor’s office and State Department of Education are currently looking for business and industry partners to assist with funding the challenge. If you are interested in assisting with the challenge, please contact Jennifer Michalek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Immediate Release: Monday, December 6, 2021
Contact: Chelsea Neelon