“We want these students to have a leg up and a creative advantage in their career choices,” said Clay Hunter, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
The grant, which was first offered in 2018, is part of CS4GA – an initiative focused on making Georgia a national leader in computer science by developing high-quality courses, resources and professional learning; increasing the number of educators with computer science endorsements; and expanding computer science throughout the K-12 curriculum.
By the time students enter high school, they should have an idea where they’d like their career to focus, said Hunter. This exposes them to more options.
“If they’ve never been exposed to robotics or drone teams or creating web-based games, they won’t know if they have the desire or the aptitude for that field.”
Gwinnett isn’t the only school district focused on expanding computer science options.
“Providing high-quality computer science opportunities is essential as we prepare Georgia’s students for their futures,” Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Computer science is now an essential academic discipline, one that provides foundational knowledge and skills that benefit every child. We will continue to work to expand computer science learning throughout the K-12 system.”
Others in state government echo that goal.
“Georgia is the Silicon Valley of the South,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “Our state is home to a world-class tech industry which could realistically become the Technology Capital of the entire East Coast. However, the growth of the tech sector – which will create more high-paying job opportunities for Georgians – is contingent upon our educating students to a 21st-century standard. This program, which allows students to get hands-on coding experience in middle school, will put our students on a pathway to success and allow our state’s booming tech industry to continue expanding.”
CS4GA grant recipients ($25,000 per school)
Atlanta Public Schools – Brown Middle School
Brantley County Schools – Brantley County Middle School
Burke County Schools – Burke County Middle School
Calhoun County Schools – Calhoun County Middle School
Catoosa County Schools – Lakeview Middle School
Clay County Schools – Clay County Middle School
Clayton County Schools – North Clayton Middle School, Eddie White Middle
Commerce City Schools – Commerce Middle School
Cook County Schools – Cook Middle School
Dougherty County Schools – Albany Middle School
Fulton County Schools – Paul D. West Middle School
Grady County Schools – Washington Middle School
Griffin-Spalding County Schools – Kennedy Road Middle School
Gwinnett County Schools – Jordan Middle School
Meriwether County Schools – Manchester Middle School
Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools – Coastal Middle School
Rockdale County Schools – Memorial Middle School
Vidalia City Schools – J.R. Trippe Middle School
Walton County Schools – Carver Middle School
Source: Georgia Department of Education