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Where's The "T" Stem

It seems like there is the sudden realization that the "T" in STEM is being ignored in high schools.  Jan Cuny of the National Science Foundation has been making sure that people really understand what is happening and things are starting to move for her work and the work of others.  From Jan's article in Inroads ACM "Transforming High School Computer Science: A Call to Action":
The number and percent of students taking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has increased over the last two decades. Increased with the exception of computer science which actually decreased by 24%.
Stunning! At at time when only 2% of the AP exams are in computer science, 60% of new jobs require that skill set.  Something has got to give. Right now the immigration bill moving through Congress actually has increased fees for H1B visas for STEM fields so that we can use that money to fix the problem in schools through STEM funding.
There are three things happening right now that will have a positive impact on this issues
1.Code.org is highlighting the issue with a very powerful video that has over 10 million hits talking about how coding is only taught in 10% of high schools in the country
2.College Board and NSF have partnered with college's and universities as well as industry to create a much more relevant AP course called Computer Science Principles which will launch in 2016.  NOTE: they are looking for schools to continue the pilot so make sure you check out the website if interested.
3.Exploring Computer Science is a new course launched out of LA Unified School District that can really serve as the Pre-AP course. The numbers of girls and minorities in this course is pretty amazing and exactly where we should be.
This is some pretty incredible progress. Having a great course to get kids interested in computer science followed by an outstanding AP course is most definitely the way to combat the loss of participation by students.  NMSI is definitely looking at helping our schools get more involved in this effort to ensure that Technology is not left out of STEM.
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