In an ever changing global economy, new skills have to be developed, particularly technical skills. Recently, President Obama put forth the initiative to petition Congress for $4 billion for grants and $100 million for competitive grants over the next three years to teach computer science in all grade levels. In his speech, Obama said such things like, “Today’s auto mechanics aren’t just sliding under cars to change the oil. They’re working on machines that run on as many as 100 million lines of code” (Obama, 2016). This request should not come as a shock, though; he has previously asked for STEM areas to receive additional funding.
Investing in computer science is really an investment for the future. With technology changing more rapidly than ever, it is becoming increasingly important for virtually all people (regardless of their walk in life) to continue to develop these skills; so many jobs and, quite frankly, everyday life require at least some familiarity with computers.
In 1988 Patrick McShane founded what is now known as PCS Edventures – it was called Pat’s Computer School back then. Beginning with a focus on robotics, engineering, and computers, McShane wanted students of every age to have an opportunity to see STEM subjects come to life. Fast forward to recent years, PCS has been a leader in educational innovation in every STEM category, with impressive leaps forward in the area of computer science.
From robotics to programming, there is a wide variety of products PCS offers to get students excited about computers. While opportunities are afforded to all students, there is also a conscious effort being made to get girls excited about STEM, programming, and building, most recently seen in PCS’ release of the “Girls Can Build” product, which is part of the BrickLab line that includes over 20 curriculum titles.
While PCS has dedicated large amounts of time to researching and creating new products, it is also proud to host Webinars and have students create in company-sponsored activities, such as Edventures LAB, a robust program that includes classes and camps. At LAB, students are presented with the option of working with programming software and building robots tailored to their specifications.
Without a doubt, the prospective computer science funds allocated by Congress will enable students to pursue and explore technology in a unique and profound way, which is sure to have a great impact. PCS applauds President Obama in putting forth this initiative, which has the promise of maximizing the potential in the next generation of problem solvers.
Obama, B. (2016, January 12). State of the Union. Speech presented at the State of the Union in DC, Washington DC.