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K-12 Computer Science Billed As Economic Booster


As Wyoming’s energy industry continues to stay relatively stagnant, state leaders have been looking at alternate ways to boost the state’s economy. Governor Matt Mead is hoping technology will become a vibrant part of Wyoming’s economy, alongside energy, agriculture and tourism.  And this message has caught on. In June the Joint Education Committee requested that the Wyoming Department of Education convene a Computer Science Education Task Force, to look at what it would take to prepare Wyoming students to be leaders in the technology field.


Representatives from K-12, higher education, and the tech industry met over the last three months to develop a roadmap, which was approved by the Joint Education Committee this week.


Eric Trowbridge runs the Array School of Technology and Design in Cheyenne, a program that teaches computer coding. He said he was excited about the approval because the plan came with some big asks -- like additional funding for teacher training, for computer science to be a core subject area for K-12 students, and for those courses to count towards graduation.


Trowbridge said for Wyoming to compete that means “putting computer science on the same anointed pedestal as math, science, reading and history.” He said that means adding it to the core subject areas that every K-12 school teaches.


“And if that happens then honestly then I think Wyoming is posed to be one of the nation’s leaders when it comes to computer science education K-12.”


Now that Joint Education has approved the plan, members will craft a bill to present to the legislature.


Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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