Governor Matt Mead signed an official proclamation Tuesday recognizing December 4 through 11 as Computer Science Education Week in Wyoming, as a part of his effort to make computer science a K-12 academic requirement.
“I would like to see coding at every grade level,” Governor Mead said at the proclamation.
He also acknowledged that the idea might be met with hesitation given the financial challenges public education is facing.
“There is an expense associated with [funding computer science education], but when you look at the net, there is a greater expense with not doing that,” Mead said, referring to the cost down the line if kids aren’t computer literate.
Changes in the workforce are on the horizon and Wyoming's economic future is reliant on educating kids to be leaders in the tech field, said Mead. He said he wants to make sure Wyoming has the education program necessary, “so that our workers aren’t just displaced but so we are on the cutting edge of providing technology.”
As a part of the celebration, Wyoming's K-12 schools were invited to partake in the Hour of Code -- a free one-hour introduction to computer science. Each school that reaches a 100 percent participation level will be entered to win $500 towards the purchase of technology for their classrooms.
The governor has approached the Joint Education Committee and the Select Committee on School Finance Reform about amending the current K-12 education program to include computer science as a requirement. Lawmakers generally support the idea, but are struggling with how to put more demands on already financially-strapped schools.