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Wolf Administration Celebrates Computer Science with Former Astronaut Bernard Harris

Wolf Administration Celebrates Computer Science with Former Astronaut Bernard Harris

Harrisburg, PA - Today, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) joined with former astronaut Bernard Harris and hundreds of educators and school leaders to kick off PDE’s Computer Science for All PA Summit.

During the two-day summit, education professionals will learn innovative approaches for providing students with computer science experiences in classrooms across the commonwealth.

“The Wolf Administration recognizes that STEM and Computer Science are influencing every sector of Pennsylvania's economy with the occupations in highest demand requiring a STEM-ready workforce,” said Judd Pittman, special advisor for STEM to Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera. “To prepare Pennsylvania's future STEM workforce we need to support our educators and it is through opportunities like the Computer Science for ALL Summit where educators, administrators and counselors can sharpen their skills to provide high-quality STEM and computer science experiences to the Commonwealth’s 1.8 million students.”

A veteran astronaut, Dr. Harris has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space, and he was the first African American to complete a spacewalk. He currently serves as the chief executive officer of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), leading the organization’s efforts to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in STEM education across the country.

During his keynote, Dr. Harris discussed the childhood dream that led him to NASA and the important role of educators in empowering students to achieve their own dreams. Dr. Harris shared breathtaking photos from his spaceflights and key initiatives led by NMSI to increase access to STEM education.

Since taking office in 2015, Governor Wolf has championed to expand access to computer science and STEM education. This year he introduced PAsmart, a $30 million investment to develop and expand computer science and STEM in pre-K-12 education, to prepare and train educators to teach in computer science, STEM, and to offer job training for adults in computer science.

Governor Wolf is also a member of the Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science, a bipartisan, multi-state initiative organized by Code.orgOpens In A New Window, to build the commonwealth’s existing commitment to STEM education, where Pennsylvania has been recognized as a national leader.

Conversations from the summit can be followed on Twitter at #CSforALLPAOpens In A New Window.

Photos from the summit are available to view and download on PDE’s Flickr site.Opens In A New Window

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.govOpens In A New Window or follow PDE on FacebookOpens In A New WindowTwitterOpens In A New Window, or PinterestOpens In A New Window.

MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Levis - 717-783-9802 or elevis@pa.gov