DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds delivered a keynote speech today at the National Computer Science Summit for State Leaders in Little Rock, Ark., about the importance of expanding computer science instruction for students from preschool through high school.
“It’s always an honor to share Iowa’s STEM success story and our model workforce initiatives with a national audience. The interest continues to grow on how to best prepare students for cutting-edge careers of a disruptive 21st century economy,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Gov. Hutchinson was an excellent host for this summit which was a catalyst for identifying best practices and fresh ideas for other states.”
Gov. Reynolds highlighted Iowa’s computer science initiative, including $1.5 million in teacher training grants for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, which is encouraging school districts to create a comprehensive computer science plan for all grades. Starting this fall, for example, the Indianola Community School District will embed computer science in elementary school math and science, expand middle school computer science, and add two new high-quality high school courses for a total of three. Iowa also just started a new program to transform 12 high-poverty elementary schools into statewide models of computer science instruction.
Iowa’s role as a national leader in STEM education and work-based learning aligns with expanding computer science instruction, Gov. Reynolds said. That includes three high-quality computer science courses that the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council will deliver to more than 12,000 students across Iowa in the 2019-20 school year and the new virtual Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning, which will launch July 1. The clearinghouse will focus on helping students in rural areas with fewer employers and underrepresented minority students participate in more authentic, professional learning