On Friday, February 2, 2018, nearly 100 education, business, and community leaders from across the state examined ways to increase access to Computer Science education in West Virginia schools. The computer science convening was funded through a grant provided by STEMx and coordinated by The Education Alliance and the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in STEM Education.
The theme for the convening was “STEM Forward: Building West Virginia’s Capacity through Computer Science” and participants engaged in two primary activities. The morning session provided opportunities to learn about successful strategies that strengthen student access to Computer Science education programs. In the afternoon participants took part in facilitated group discussions around specific problem statements that lead to potential opportunities, partnerships, collaborations and next steps.
The event featured national and state Computer Science experts who spoke about successful strategies that are being deployed to develop a pipeline of students who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in our changing economy. The highlight of the event was a keynote address provided by Sean Roberts, Director of State Government Affairs for Code.org, who spoke about ways to improve access to PK-12 Computer Science through clarity, capacity, leadership, sustainability, and equity and diversity. The event concluded with participants providing feedback about how best to move forward with increasing access to Computer Science education in West Virginia.