The Colorado Computer Science Regional Program
Code.org has selected mindSpark Learning as its Colorado Regional Program partner, and is supporting our organization to help spread computer science in a local, sustainable fashion. The goal of the Regional Partner program is to support mindSpark Learning in becoming the K-12 computer science hub for Colorado. Our organization offers unique professional learning opportunities in computer science for educators and we are working toward building a strong local community and awareness around computer science.
Serve as the Colorado hub for PreK-12 computer science including schools, educators, leaders, and organizations.
Build partnerships with local districts and schools to increase student access to computer science courses.
Organize and host quality, local workshops for teachers implementing Code.org’s elementary school, high school and middle school programs, with Code.org-trained facilitators.
Provide tools and resources to local school administrators and counselors, through specialized workshops.
Establish, grow, and sustain a local community of computer science educators through computer science fairs and community events.
For more information we encourage interested community members to check out our Regional Partner One Pager with more detailed information.
The K - 12 Computer Science Learning Continuum
In partnership with Code.org, we provide free curriculum, resources, and school support to all K-12 students. Whether it's a kindergartener just starting to learn algorithms to a high schooler preparing for the AP Computer Science Exam, we have phenomenal resources that are proven to equip students for success. Learn more about the free Code.org Curriculum provided below.
WHY COMPUTER SCIENCE?
Current Colorado Computer Science Statistics:
Colorado currently has 15,541 open computing jobs (3.2 times the average demand rate in Colorado).
The average salary for a computing occupation in CO is $98,597, which is significantly higher than the average salary in the state ($52,710). The existing open jobs alone represent a $1,532,295,977 opportunity in terms of annual salaries.
Colorado had only 785 computer science graduates in 2015; only 15% were female.
Only 1,437 exams were taken in AP Computer Science by high school students in Colorado in 2017 (860 took AP CS A and 577 took AP CSP).
Only 19% were female (18% for AP CS A and 21% for AP CSP);
Only 219 exams were taken by Hispanic or Latino students (114 took AP CS A and 105 took AP CSP);
Only 30 exams were taken by Black students (12 took AP CS A and 18 took AP CSP);
Only 7 exams were taken by American Indian or Alaska Native students (3 took AP CS A and 4 took AP CSP);
Only 3 exams were taken by Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students (0 took AP CS A and 3 took AP CSP).
Computer science drives job growth and innovation throughout our economy and society. Computing occupations are the number 1 source of all new wages in the U.S. and make up two-thirds of all projected new jobs in STEM fields, making Computer Science one of the most in-demand college degrees. And computing is used all around us and in virtually every field. In other words, it’s foundational knowledge that all students need. Unfortunately, computer science is marginalized throughout education. Fewer than half of U.S. schools offer any computer science courses and only 8% of STEM graduates study it. We need to improve access for all students, including groups who have traditionally been underrepresented.
Only 96 schools in CO (26% of CO schools with AP programs) offered an AP Computer Science course in 2016-2017 (16% offered AP CS A and 15% offered AP CSP), which is 43 more than the previous year. There are fewer AP exams taken in computer science than in any other STEM subject area.
Universities in Colorado only graduated 1 new teacher prepared to teach computer science in 2016.
According to a representative survey from Google/Gallup, school administrators in CO support expanding computer science education opportunities: 61% of principals surveyed think CS is just as or more important than required core classes. And their biggest barrier to offering computer science is the lack of funds for hiring and training teachers.