On March 28, approximately 75 leading policy makers and thought-leaders from industry, nonprofit and government engaged in a discussion on how to ensure that U.S. students and schools have what they need to attain the computer science knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to succeed in the global economy.
The @Microsoft Conversations on Education panel, titled, “Computer Science and Underrepresented Communities: Helping Students Realize Their Full Potential,” began with opening remarks from Microsoft’s Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries. National Science Foundation Program Director Jeff Forbes, who served as moderator for the panel, opened up the discussion with a presentation that emphasized the importance of computer science and include key statistics framing the issue.
Panelists included (from left to right) National Science Foundation Program Director Jeff Forbes, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer Brian Forde, American Association for the Advancement of Science Director Dr. Yolanda L. Comedy and National Center for Women and Information Technology CEO and Co-Founder Lucy Sanders.
After the presentation, Code.org Founder and President Hadi Partovi joined to discuss his organization’s work and how entrepreneurs help to engage in computer science and STEM education advocacy issues. Below is a screenshot of Hadi Partovi from the Code.org video “What Most Schools Don’t Teach“.
Microsoft’s Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) Founder and Program Manager Kevin Wang also joined via Lync to discuss how Microsoft volunteers help to expand computer science classes in local communities. Below is a photo of TEALs program participant Jeremy Moore.
The conversation focused on the growing importance of computer science, the lack of computer science classes taught in schools and how the public and private sectors can bridge the opportunity divide for underrepresented youth in computer science education.
Following the panel discussion, Microsoft spoke with Lucy Sanders on the importance of engaging girls in computer science education:
Dr. Yolanda L. Comedy also discussed what public and private sector organizations can do to help increase computer science education in schools:
We also spoke with Jeff Forbes on how computer science classes keep America competitive:
Missed the event but want to learn more? For more on STEM education and the YouthSpark program, check out Jeremy Moore: Computer Science Star and participate in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #YouthSpark. For additional information on Code.org, please watch What Most Schools Don’t Teach or visit www.code.org.