Wyoming Awarded TechSpark Grant To Further K-12 Computer Science Education

May 22, 2019

Participants share ideas at the first CSforALL SCRIPT training in Casper.
Credit Wyoming Department of Education

Most states have at least one policy related to computer science education, but Wyoming is one of just six states with a plan for how to bring computer science into every Wyoming classroom in the state, according to Code.org.

Microsoft's TechSpark initiative recognized the state's efforts with a $95,000 grant to support strategic planning at the district level.

Laurel Ballard with the Wyoming Department of Education said the department recognized that districts were feeling overwhelmed by the new standards.

"No one in our districts has ever really done that before, starting with a brand new content area, trying to figure out how to get teachers trained," said Ballard.

She said districts have experience implementing updated content areas, but those are pre-existing.

"We tweak. We've had language arts and math and science for as long as we know. But this is the first time that they're having to do a brand new content area ground up."

The TechSpark grant will bring the CSforALL Resource & Implementation Planning Tool (SCRIPT) training to five regions in Wyoming over the next year with an initial goal of serving 30 school districts.

Ballard said the training is designed to help districts to think strategically.

"It makes it so that it's a little easier to know what are the different areas they need to focus in. It makes it easier for them to start taking small steps of getting to that final goal," said Ballard.

During the 2018 session, Wyoming lawmakers passed legislation mandating that all schools offer computer science by 2023. The Wyoming State Board of Education recently rolled out the new standards.