Computer Science Education Week 2015 By the Numbers

 |   Sadie Stockdale Jefferson, Deputy Policy Director, City of Chicago

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Statistics in Illinois show:

  • There are 25,003 open computing jobs (December, 2015)
  • We have 1,427 computer science graduates
  • Research predicts there will be approximately 450,000 STEM related jobs in Cook County by 2018.

Where would you focus your attention to be included in this hot job market?

According to Code.org, computer science drives job growth and innovation throughout our economy and society. Computing occupations worldwide make up two-thirds of all projected new jobs in STEM fields, making Computer Science one of the most in-demand college degrees. And computing is used all around us and in virtually every field. It’s foundational knowledge that all students need. So, how is Chicagoland gearing up to meet these challenges and take advantage of exponential job growth?

Last week, there was citywide engagement and programs to support Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code that ranged from the Chicago Public Library to the Digital Youth Network to Chicago Public Schools to Microsoft as well as many other companies and business accelerators.

Here are some of the highlights and impressive stats. Go, Chicago!

First, let’s start with some friendly competition between Code Chicago and Code Brooklyn. While all the final numbers are still coming in, we are pretty confident that Code Chicago will be the winner! The scope and impact for both cities is impressive. To give you an idea of the breadth of the reach, the total schools in each group are:

  • Brooklyn: 578
  • Chicago: 678

Our current results on code.org show:

Let’s drill down on the CPS results:

CPS

  • 319/525 non-charter/option schools participating (61%)
  • 340/678 total schools participating (just over 50%)
  • Over 538 unique CPS events in Illinois

 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Hefferan Elementary
Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Hefferan Elementary School for the Hour of Code. Photo: Brooke Collins/City of Chicago

But wait, there’s more…

In addition to CPS driven events, we had a wonderful NEW program at Chicago Public Library!

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More than 130 teens participated in Hour of Code programs at Chicago Public Library branches across the city, resulting in 195 hours of coding activities. Teens were excited about exploring the real-world applications of code through robots, circuits and more. At the Chinatown Branch YOUmedia and West Englewood Branch, teens learned basic coding concepts with littleBits and Bee Bots. Teens and their families enjoyed playing coding games with help from Microsoft representatives at Portage-Cragin Branch, where staff received multiple requests for future coding programs. At Albany Park Branch YOUmedia, teens created keyboards with Makey Makeys in a multi-part project that attracted a crowd of future musicians, artists and engineers. Students at Back of the Yards Branch raced Finch robots using Snap, while teens at Sulzer Regional Library YOUmedia learned how to take their coding skills to the next level by using Scratch to program their Finches; during the workshop, one teen remarked, “I didn’t know Scratch could be so advanced!” At Thurgood Marshall Branch YOUmedia, teens also used Scratch to animate their own hip hop dancing in a series of workshops.

But wait, there’s more…

The Chicago City of Learning (CCoL) and Digital Youth Network, in partnership with DePaul brought in over 650 students, and 411 students earned the specific Hour of Code badge! This is an impressive 400% jump over 2014. Congratulations to the many volunteers and staff at both DYN and DePaul. A wonderful thank you note from Kasia Garga, STEM Educator at Mariano Azuela Elementary School says it all: Thank you so much for including us! Today students were talking about how amazing the field trip was! 

But wait, there’s more…

Nicholson Elementary School
Students at Nicholson Elementary School taking part in the Hour of Code

Across Illinois, Microsoft volunteers banded together to bring coding to students, including:

  • Gurrie Middle School in LaGrange: seven classes of 7th and 8th graders — totaling 360 students
  • Ranch View Elementary School in Naperville: 60 2nd and 3rd graders
  • Wolcott High School: 43 students
  • Lake View High School in Chicago: 10 students taught 30 younger students from Coonley Elementary School
  • Nicholson Elementary School in Chicago: 25 students
  • St. Joseph Elementary School in Downers Grove: one 4th grade class and two 5th grade classes — totaling 90 students

Lake View HS HoC

But wait, there’s more…

Everyone pitched in….nonprofits, museums and companies and volunteers banded together for an Hour of Code. The list is too long to include but we were informed by the Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium, YWCA TechGyrls, Blue 1647, Girls Who Code, and Englewood Blue that many students and families attended coding workshops. A big thank you to the countless volunteers who organized Chicago’s Hour of Code sessions and to the parents, teachers and students who became role models teaching others how to code. It’s because of efforts like this that Chicago’s youth will be prepared to meet the future in STEM careers. See you in 2016!

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