On Tuesday, September 19, more than 100 students, educators, policymakers, industry professionals and community members gathered in Frankfort for a Coding at the Capitol event hosted by AdvanceKentucky, an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation. The event explored the pivotal role of computer science education in shaping Kentucky's future.
Code.org President Cameron Wilson kicked off the event by sharing the significance of integrating coding and computer science into Kentucky's K-12 curriculum. AdvanceKentucky is Code.org’s regional partner in the effort to expand access to computer science education for Kentucky students. In 2022, Code.org awarded a $10,000 CS Leaders Prize to two Kentucky schools —Eminence High School and Harlan High School — for adding a new computer science course in the 2023-24 school year.
“Why is computer science needed in the state of Kentucky? To further attract employers and large scale economic development projects, Kentucky would need to produce a workforce pipeline that keeps up with the workforce demand,” said Codeye J. Woody, director of State Government Affairs for Code.org, a nonprofit that advocates for computer science as part of every student’s core K-12 education.
Representatives from Code.org, the Kentucky Department of Education and AdvanceKentucky also shared an update on the state of computer science education in Kentucky with the Interim Join Committee on Education. Updates included the state’s participation in the national Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance, which was announced in May.
“Coding at the Capitol showcases the impressive talents of Kentucky’s Students and underscores the importance of equipping them with computer science skills,” said Senator David Givens. “Thanks to the outstanding work of AdvanceKentucky, the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, and Code.org, we are shaping a brighter future for our state, preparing our students for success in STEM fields and beyond."
Students from 11 schools shared computer science projects throughout the day. AdvanceKentucky, an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, prepares teachers in these schools to teach computer science, coding and 3D printing through professional development activities, access to resources, and support with developing and deploying district-wide computer science plans.
“In an era where technology permeates every aspect of our lives, the need to prepare Kentucky's students with essential computer science skills is more pressing than ever,” said AdvanceKentucky Executive Director Anthony Mires. “By expanding access to K-12 computer science education, we are setting Kentucky students up for success as they pursue STEM fields, enter technical careers, and go on to develop innovative solutions for some of our state’s biggest challenges.”
Those interested in learning more about computer science education in Kentucky or how to get your school involved can visit advancekentucky.com.