May 14, 2013

Malynda Dorsey
Communications Specialist

13-168

Google Grant Promotes Valdosta Computes v2.0

VALDOSTA – For the second year, Valdosta State University will welcome area K12 teachers for a summer workshop that explores advancements in technology, computing and robotics. The workshop, titled Valdosta Computes v2.0, will be held June 17-20 and is funded by a grant from Google as part of its Computer Science for High Schools (CS4HS) program.

The workshop will provide basic concepts necessary to teach introductory computer science and programming topics in the classroom. Last year, the workshop provided training for four area teachers. However, this year’s $12,500 award will make it possible for 20 teachers to participate.

“While computer science continues to grow, the fundamental concepts don’t change,” said Dr. Krishnendu Roy, assistant professor of math and computer science at VSU. “Through this training, I will introduce the teachers to several computing and programming activities suitable for middle and high school students.”

Roy hopes that the training will increase exposure of computer science to area students and get students interested in the field.

“Computer science is one of the fastest growing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, but many students are not pursuing careers in the field because they are not getting exposure to it in school,” said Roy. “Students are using computers at school, but they are not learning the science behind it. If they don’t know what that is, then we are missing them.”

Through the CS4HS initiative, funds are provided by the Google Education Group to host two to three day workshops for middle school and high school teachers. Google currently offers CS4HS grants to colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China, New Zealand and Australia. According to a Google blog about the program, the ultimate goals are to “’train the trainer,’ develop a thriving community of high school CS teachers, and spread the word about the awe and beauty of computing.” The grant was introduced in 2010 with hopes of impacting at least 36,000 students and ensuring they are exposed to the latest computing tools in technology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth of employment in computer science between 2010 and 2020 is faster than average at a rate of 28 percent. The demand for computer science professionals is currently high and expected to grow as companies continue to invest in newer technology and mobile networks.

Further information about Valdosta Computes v2.0 is available at www.valdosta.edu/cs4hs.