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Expanding and Scaling Innovative Digital Fluency Models: Computer Science Education in the U.S. STEMconnector. White Paper

STEMconnector White Paper Expanding and Scaling Innovative Digital Fluency Models: Computer Science Education in the U.S. North America Corporate Social Responsibility STEMconnector Executive Summary
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STEMconnector White Paper Expanding and Scaling Innovative Digital Fluency Models: Computer Science Education in the U.S. North America Corporate Social Responsibility STEMconnector Executive Summary The need for greater science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and computer science (CS) education in our nation s schools is no longer up for debate. Across the country, there are signs that the STEM message is gaining traction. Although many STEM fields have taken strong root among school officials and students, CS still largely lacks the necessary recognition from government and educational institutions. Today, only one in four schools offers a computer science curriculum. For this reason, organizations such as the National Science Foundation,, Teach For America, Project Lead the Way, and many others have launched programs to advance CS education in the United States outside of the traditional classroom setting. But the battle is not over yet. Schools and other organizations still need the tools to effectively scale up CS programs. Lacking best practices and models of successful initiatives deployed elsewhere, organizations risk wasting time and funding on less-than-ideal approaches. The need for repeatable, scalable models is urgent. Eighty percent of jobs now require digital fluency : a mastery of technology to solve real-life problems, and a key outcome of CS instruction. Although 71 percent of STEM jobs require computing, only eight percent of STEM graduates have computational degrees. To capture students interest in CS courses and careers, educators and policymakers must demonstrate the many benefits of getting involved with CS, including a higher salary than the average college graduate in other words, they must make CS cool. In response to these persistent gaps in CS education, Tata Consultancy Services, an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, joined with STEMconnector, a leading advocacy organization for STEM education and careers. For the third consecutive year, the groups hosted a Computer Science Roundtable to unite experts, educators, and advocates in CS to discuss and debate the importance of CS at every level of education. Through panels with students and CS practitioners alike, the group learned challenges facing both American students and employers in the growing CS job market. This year s event took place September 15, 2015 at the Teach For America headquarters in New York City. Building upon takeaways of the previous two roundtables, the day focused on ways to expand and scale up models of digital fluency, as well as breakout sessions that delved more deeply into specific areas of need. This white paper shares insights and solutions that emerged from the discussion. 1 About the Authors Balaji Ganapathy Head Workforce Effectiveness, North America, Tata Consultancy Services As the Head of Workforce Effectiveness, Balaji oversees the functions of HR Business Consulting, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Diversity & Inclusion for over 30,000 employees of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in North America. His primary responsibilities include coaching sales and business teams for business growth, driving talent management and employee retention initiatives, architecting the corporate sustainability strategy, leading the diversity initiative and promoting a culture of inclusion. Under his stewardship, TCS is using its technology innovation, thought leadership and skill-based volunteering to change the state of STEM education in North America, with a special focus on women and girls, minorities and underrepresented groups. Balaji is the Chair of STEMconnector s STEM Innovation Task Force (SITF), leading the efforts to galvanize industry engagement to support STEM education, and drive efforts to create digital fluency among students and youth. The SITF is a consortium of 38 leading organizations across industry, government, education, and non-profit sectors. He is an Executive Committee member of IMPACT 2030, a global, private-sector-led collaboration, designed to marshal the power of human capital investments to address the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As the Vice Chair of the Million Women Mentors Leadership Council (MWM), he is leading the movement to connect industry mentors with students in need, transforming their outlook toward career and life. The MWM Leadership Council provides guidance and direction for industry-led solutions to remove barriers for girls and women in STEM fields. He also serves as the Chairman of NPower s TCC Advisory Council, which has participation from TCS, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, American Express, and Citi. NPower is a national non-profit organization that brings the tech community together for social good. He is spearheading the movement to use skill-based volunteers from the tech community to create tech skills among youth in the local community. 2 STEMconnector Edie Fraser CEO, STEMconnector and Million Women Mentors Edie Fraser is CEO of STEMconnector and Million Women Mentors (MWM) and a vice president of Diversified Search, LLC. Women and diversity support is at the core of Edie s work and values. Edie has worked with more than 250 Fortune companies on women and diversity leadership and with several hundred associations, and is thrilled to champion the MWM movement. Its mission is to bring education, research, resources, best practices, communications and outreach and provide resources such as the web site, 100 CEO Leaders in STEM, 100 Women Leaders in STEM, STEMdaily, Ed Tech Weekly Report and STEM results. Ted Wells Chief Strategy Officer, STEMconnector Ted Wells is Chief Strategy Officer for STEMconnector an organization committed to improving the flow of information to stakeholders in STEM education. Ted manages a portfolio of projects relating to STEM K-12 education and workforce development. In addition to computer science education, his focus areas include higher education and food and agriculture. Projects include developing communications strategies, convening stakeholders and facilitating strategic planning. Hillary McDonald CSR Coordinator, Tata Consultancy Services As TCS Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, Hillary has created partnerships with non-profit and educational partners in order to expand TCS North America s flagship community engagement and technology awareness program, goit, to over 27 cities in the United States. She also works with partners to create long-term engagement opportunities that allow students continual exposure to computer science and coding after their initial experience with goit, including the first TCS New York City Marathon goit App Competition. Hillary also trains teachers both before goit programs and in professional development sessions so educators are empowered to continue independently teaching CS and goit curriculum in their classrooms. 3 About Contributors the Authors Brian Jackson Director, Strategic Initiatives Brian Jackson is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at STEMconnector. In his role, which he has held since 2013, he helps to lead the STEM Food & Ag Council, Computer Science efforts, STEMconnector Town Hall Google+ Hangouts, and assists with the STEM Higher Education Council. He believes that through strong teamwork and cooperation throughout STEMconnector makes anything possible, and is really looking forward to the rest of the ride. Before working at STEMconnector, Brian was an Assistant Property Manager at Fred A. Smith Company, a mid-size property management firm. He helped operations run smoothly for over 2000 units throughout Washington, DC. Prior to working at Fred A. Smith Company, he earned a B.A. in English Literature, with a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in History, from Ohio University in beautiful Athens, Ohio. As a born-native to Cleveland, Ohio, and an adopted-native of Washington, DC, he finds himself having to root for a lot of baseball teams. In his free time, he enjoys live music, writing, pinball and fantasy baseball. He absolutely does not have a Facebook. Philip Casey Manager, Special Projects Philip Casey recently joined the STEMconnector team as a Project Manager. In this role, he works on projects for the STEM Food & Ag council and the Innovation Task Force. Philip s interest in STEM education comes from his lifelong passion for learning about science. He s excited about the recent emphasis on STEM initiatives nationwide and hopes that every student gets an equal chance to share his interest in the subject. Before coming to STEMconnector Philip worked for community college program designed to help get students prepared for college level math. He graduated in 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he majored in Biology and Psychology. Philip is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee and a very recent (and happy) transplant to the D.C. area. He enjoys outdoor activities, watching UNC play basketball, and most types of food. 4 STEMconnector Contents 1 Executive Summary 6 Scaling Innovative Digital Fluency Models to Expand STEM Education, Surya Kant, Tata Consultancy Services 8 Advancing Digital Fluency for All, Edie Fraser and Ted Wells, STEMconnector 9 Relationships, Community, and the Growth of CS Education, Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser, CSNYC 9 11 Inspiring the Next Generation of Explorers, Leland Melvin, Former NASA Astronaut 12 Introduction 14 Fireside Chat: Surya Kant and Leland Melvin 16 State of the Union in STEM: Stephanie Cuskley 17 Student and Youth Panel 19 Practitioner Panel 22 Breakout Sessions 30 Conclusion, Balaji Ganapathy, Tata Consultancy Services 5 Scaling Innovative Digital Fluency Models to Expand STEM Education By Surya Kant, President, TCS North America, UK & Europe The digital revolution now impacts all facets of life on an unprecedented scale. Tremendous value continues to be unleashed by a combination of the digital five forces: mobility and pervasive computing, big data and analytics, social media, cloud, and artificial intelligence and robotics. These forces enable businesses and individuals to reimagine their world in fundamentally new ways. In fact, projections show that by 2020, more than half of all jobs will require information technology (IT) skills and computational thinking. More than 50 percent of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) job growth over that time period will be in computer science (CS) fields, leading to a shortage of more than one million IT-skilled Americans. A serious STEM skills gap continues to plague the United States despite science and technology s all-encompassing influence and integration across most human endeavors, from architecture and design, to the behavioral and social sciences, to the development of smart technologies and beyond. It is crucial, now more than ever, that we emphasize STEM education in schools and homes from early on, to fill this gap and maintain economic competitiveness. To produce inventive, technology-enabled solutions to real-life problems, our youth need to develop digital fluency: a mastery of digital technology beyond the classroom, and skills needed to go from college to career. Now is the time to act. Continuing to take action and play a leading role in fostering the national debate, TCS and STEMconnector conducted the third annual Computer Science (CS) Roundtable in 2015, gathering business leaders, STEM advocates and educators to build on a communal cause, looking in-depth at the lack of U.S. STEM education, talent and interest, and how to collectively expand and scale innovative digital fluency models across the nation and into the future. In order to make change, schools and businesses must prioritize STEM access to all students. 6 STEMconnector CS-focused teacher training programs must increase, parents have to get more involved in their children s education, and we as professionals need to show youth that CS and technology jobs offer cool, rewarding and lucrative careers. TCS invests heavily in promoting STEM education and practice through initiatives including goit, our signature community engagement program in North America. Through this program, our employees teach computer programming and mentor youth nationwide to increase STEM education and career awareness. We have engaged almost 10,000 students across 20 U.S. states and five Canadian cities to date. We are also a leading proponent of national community engagement initiatives, including our founding partnership of STEM mentoring programs such as US2020 and Million Women Mentors and our ongoing work with partners such as NPower and STEMconnector. Furthermore, TCS co-innovation network (COINTM) is building notable research alliances with leading universities across the U.S. As a leading IT services and business solutions provider, TCS recognizes that the industry s future and that of the nation s increasingly knowledge- and technology-driven economy Our youth need to develop digital fluency: a mastery of digital technology beyond the classroom, and skills needed to go from college to career. Now is the time to act. Surya Kant depends upon more Americans with STEM skills and digital fluency entering the workforce each year. We re leading change through cross-sector efforts to expand and scale digital fluency along with partners, customers and industry peers to inspire children toward STEM education and careers. We are also enabling cross-sector collaboration, building technology platforms and engaging skilled volunteers to bring real-world technology skills to students at all levels. 7 Advancing Digital Fluency for All By Edie Fraser and Ted Wells Every day, digital technology becomes more and more critical to the global economy and an indispensable element in our daily lives. We must equip students to think computationally in order to develop and unlock emerging technologies so that they are prepared to participate in this dynamic landscape. Computer science was not too long ago a specialty subject that only a few students required. Those days are behind us. Today and into the future, digital fluency is an educational outcome that we must prioritize. We must also be mindful as we scale up this emerging field to ensure that we include all students, that we take advantage of existing educational infrastructure and that we rigorously evaluate new methods and frameworks. That s why STEMconnector and TCS have teamed up for the last three years to bring together key stakeholders in computer science education. Our vision for these roundtables is a participant-driven discussion that generates specific recommendations and also facilitates new partnerships. This paper comes from our most recent event, held in September 2015 and titled Expanding and Scaling Digital Fluency Models. We highlight strategies to take the pockets of great work that is being done across the nation to the next level. Sustainable progress will bring everyone to the table so that efforts are aligned and relevant. Our roundtable and this paper address five focus areas developed by our planning committee: Increasing diversity in CS Leveraging career and technical education (CTE) to deliver CS education Creating professional development opportunities for both pre- and in-service teachers Using informal learning environments to provide CS learning opportunities outside of the classroom Developing measurement tools to assess the impact of programs. This work is so important for our future and we are proud to be partnering with TCS to support CS education. We are excited by developments that bolster the urgency of this work like those announced by New York Mayor DeBlasio and the more recent White House commitment, Computer Science for All. Bold leadership and relentless collaboration will continue to be essential ingredients to achieve a vision of a digitally fluent society. 8 STEMconnector Relationships, Community, and the Growth of CS Education By Leigh Ann DeLyser, Director of Education and Research, CSNYC In 1962, when discussing the foundational theory of data processing, Grace Hopper said, We must state relationships, not procedures. The same is true now as we embark on an unprecedented expansion of computer science (CS) education in New York City, across the United States, and around the world. It is tempting to look at the growth of CS and ask only what and how: What is the right tool or curriculum to teach our students? How can we fit CS, an extra subject, into the school day? NYC s #CS4All Initiative and Relationships In 2015, Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced an historic public-private partnership between NYC and CSNYC to bring CS to every student in NYC public schools. The initiative is called #CS4All, and at its heart is relationships. #CS4All builds upon more than two years of work by CSNYC connecting CS curriculum and programs with schools, teachers, and students. CSNYC has provided thousands of hours of professional development to teachers, enabling the expansion of CS in over 130 schools to date, and serving more than 10,000 students in those classrooms. Collaboration is one of the six computational thinking practices in the new Advanced Placement CS Principles course. And collaboration is at the center of CS education in NYC. CSNYC partnered with EDC, Berkeley University, and the NYC Department of Education to use a National Science Foundation grant to train teachers in the Beauty and Joy of Computing 9 (BJC) CS Principles curriculum. Currently, in year one of the grant, over 20 teachers are implementing BJC in their classrooms and adapting content, assessments, and materials for high school students. Engaging the Larger Community #CS4All is a historic undertaking and will need an all-hands-on-deck strategy. Public, private, education, and non-profit partners are the keys to not only the initial rollout of CS in our schools, but the ongoing teacher development needed to sustain it. CSNYC is proud to sponsor the CSNYC Education Meetup, a group with over 1,500 members who come together to talk about the challenges of implementing CS education and best practices for teaching CS in the classroom. Only by bringing together diverse groups of experts, including classroom teachers and students, can we produce solutions to the challenges faced in implementing universal K-12 CS education. The recommendations from this report stem from such a convening of experts. At the STEMconnector Computer Science Roundtable, students, teachers, researchers, and policymakers discussed the challenges of implementation and assessment and offered ideas to help move CS education forward. 10 STEMconnector Inspiring the Next Generation of Explorers By Leland Melvin, NASA Astronaut As an astronaut, I had the chance to view our home planet from the International Space Station as we orbited Earth every 90 minutes. An incredible team of people helped make this mission possible to build an outpost to advance our civilization. In a similar way, a community of mentors, educators, friends, coaches, and parents helped give me the right set of skills including a positive mindset and persistence to believe that I could do anything. They prepared me for success. Now, we must collectively embark on a mission to prepare our next generation to thrive in an increasingly technology-rich world. Our future explorers and inventors are benefiting from the collaborative work of a diverse, cross-sector team of stakeholders who participated in the Computer Science Roundtable in New York. As I learned while traveling at 17,500 mph in space inside an interconnected system of hardware and software, digital fluency is a must for effective 21st-century learning in an experiential environment. All students need access to high-quality computer science learning experiences that effectively prepare them to flourish in our increasingly interconnected world. We need a n
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