Center for STEM Education awarded funds as a participant in 100Kin10’s STEM Fellowship Program, a national collaborative tasked with tackling the underrepresentation of engineering in K-12 schools

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The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for STEM Education-TRC program announced it has been awarded a $295,000 grant to support computer science teachers. The grant was made possible by 100Kin10, a national network coordinating and accelerating efforts to bring 100,000 new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers into schools by 2021.

A team from the UT College of Education’s Center for STEM Education, led by Deputy Director Carol Fletcher, is developing innovative solutions to the shortage of secondary computer science teachers. The 100Kin10 grant will fund the creation of an online course to assist currently certified teachers in other STEM fields to obtain Grades 8-12 Computer Science certification through success on the TExES exam.

About 100Kin10

100Kin10 is an organization committed to recruiting, training, and retaining 100,000 excellent science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by 2021. 100Kin10 encourages multi-sector collaboration and provides the vision and resources to help nonprofits, foundations, academic institutions and businesses meet their ambitious commitments to educate the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. More information is available at www.100Kin10.org.

The grant will also provide generous stipends to individuals currently certified in fields other than computer science who add an additional certification in computer science. This online course, to be offered through EdX, will be launched in the summer of 2016.

“There are more than 1,500 high schools in the state of Texas and the vast majority of them do not offer computer science courses. That’s primarily because high schools can’t find qualified computer science teachers,” says Fletcher. “With more than 16,000 job openings in Texas related to computer science, it is an economic imperative that we expose more high school students to these high-demand, high-wage careers before they move on to college.”

“We are excited about partnering with UT’s Learning Sciences and the Computer Science Department to create this innovative online course targeted specifically to in-service teachers that want to add an additional certification,” says Victor Sampson, director of the Center for STEM Education. “This model will provide access for every teacher in the state, particularly rural teachers, to high-quality training and support specifically designed to increase the number of high schools capable of offering a computer science pathway in Texas.”

About Center for STEM Education-TRC

The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for STEM Education provides support for, and fosters collaboration among, researchers interested in conducting externally-funded interdisciplinary research on STEM teaching and learning, the conditions that influence it, and innovations that can maximize it. The Center for STEM Education also provides professional development for STEM teachers in Texas schools. The Center’s award winning statewide network, TRC, is charged with facilitating this grant. More information is available at www.theTRC.org. Information regarding Computer Science education and professional development can be found at www.thetrc.org/teach-cs/.

100Kin10’s more than 200 partners were encouraged to apply to this Fellowship program. Eleven partners were selected to participate, working side-by-side to design solutions to address the grand challenge of improving K-12 access to engineering and computer science education. All of the Fellows have benefited from technical assistance, resource sharing, and peer and expert critique and feedback to continually improve their solutions.

There are 11 participants in the STEM Fellowship:

  • Center for STEM Education–TRC, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Bank Street College of Education
  • Tufts School of Engineering
  • Boston University College of Engineering
  • Hillsborough County Public Schools, Florida
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • National Center for Technology Literacy at the Museum of Science Boston
  • Teach for America New York
  • The Bay Area Discovery Museum, California
  • Washington STEM