“Computer Science is a liberal art: it’s something that everybody should be exposed to and everyone should have a mastery of to some extent.”
— Steve Jobs.
If you’re like most parents today, you probably remember when you got ahold of your first computer, or you logged onto the internet for the first time. Maybe you had seen a URL on the back of a cereal box or in a magazine and were excited to see where it could lead you!
Today, our lives are permeated by technology which used to sit in a corner of our homes. The reality is that technology affects every field of commerce.
In healthcare – computing is part of operating rooms every day and it is enabling breakthroughs like these contact lenses that detect levels of insulin for people with diabetes.
In space – we are depending on a generation of robots to explore where humans cannot yet.
In our homes – we are automating everyday things like our heating systems etc
And, every single day this trend is growing across every single industry. This is the world your children were born into. More than ever, computer science learning is an important part of early education.
Positive Impact on Cognitive Development and Education.
Studies have linked positive cognitive growth, improved professional competitiveness later in life, and increased educational performance with early exposure to STEM subjects.
“Computer science not only teaches children about technology,
but it helps them develop critical thinking and creative problem solving skills.”
A College Board analysis found that students who took the AP Computer Science test demonstrated higher performance in AP Calculus and Statistics over students who had not. But the really great thing about Computer Science is that it is a subject for everyone, not just academic high performers.
A study featured in Science Magazine found that students who receive extra exposure to STEM sciences in early education exhibit a marked improvement in tasks related to strategic and meta-strategic thinking, with academic underachievers demonstrating the greatest improvements.
Computer science drives job growth and innovation throughout our economy and society.
Applied computer science jobs represent the largest single source of new private income and demand for these roles is only growing. Right now, there are over 500,000 open computing jobs nationwide, 24,000 of which are in Washington State alone. We have covered just the tip of the iceberg here. There are many studies and articles available extolling the benefits of early computer science learning. It is therefore quite perplexing that less than half of all schools in the U.S. offer any kind of computer science courses. Here in Washington there is no requirement for high schools to provide CS education and there are no K-12 curriculum standards for this subject either. Some experts say that the optimal time to begin computer science education is around five years old. If you’re not willing to wait until the government catches up on this issue, you still have options!
Filling the Education Gap.
Companies like Coding with Kids are offering an opportunity for students to bridge this education gap and set themselves up for future success. The company provides classes for beginner to advanced coders at many schools in the Seattle area. They also provide individualized instruction through their Center Classes program which focuses on developing each student’s understanding of computer programming as they master the skills of each level of the Coder’s Ladder. Coding with Kids keeps students engaged through game development-centered projects that build student interest as they learn increasingly advanced programming concepts. They also focus on building the foundation for future success through their “concepts first, languages second” teaching philosophy which allows students to explore various branches of the computer programming world as they develop their logical thinking and problem solving skills. Classes run year-round and students can join at any time, so you don’t have to wait. Check out their programs here.
Images Source: Pixabay, CodingWithKids
Author: Daniel Rowland
Daniel Rowland is the center manager for CodingWithKids locations in Bellevue, Redmond, and Renton, Washington. He is a recent graduate of the University of Washington with a B.S degree in Human-Centered Design and Engineering and when not working at his CodingWithKids center classes, he is busy working on sensor-array prototypes and starting a new business in healthcare quality measurement. Before attending the UW, he served in the US Navy as a submarine sonar technician, stationed aboard the USS Bremerton .