Computer Science coming to a school near you!


In 2020, the Iowa Legislature passed Iowa House File 2629. One of the stipulations of this bill was the requirement that schools implement a computer science program. The deadlines for these legislative requirements regarding computer science are fast approaching. This summer, districts must be ready with a K-12 computer science plan and a high school computer science course. And by next summer, districts must be ready for instruction at the elementary and middle school levels. If your student is not already learning computer science, they soon will be.

Many wonder why there is such an urgency to teach computer science. The reason is simple, jobs. According to Code.org, in 2018 there were 5,048 open computer science jobs with an average salary of $83,000 but only 679 computer science graduates.

Typically when we think of computer science, we think of coding or writing computer programs. But computer science is so much more than that! Iowa defines computer science as “understanding how and why technologies work, exploring whether and how technology could solve real-life problems, investigating procedures, creating solutions, and learning about computing systems, programming, data, networks, and the effects on society and the individual. Learning computer science means learning how to create new technologies, rather than simply using them.”

This means that students learn how different parts of devices and computers work together, how networks and the internet work, and of course, how to write programs. They also learn how to manage and analyze data, and the impacts that computers and technology have had on our society.

Central Rivers Area Education Agency is working hard to prepare local schools for meeting computer science requirements with both coaching and resources. For more information, visit https://www.centralriversaea.org/curriculum/computer-science/.

Meier, MichelleMichelle Meier is an Instructional Technology Consultant with Central Rivers Area Education Agency. She can be reached at mmeier@centralriversaea.org. Central Rivers Area Education Agency provides leadership and service to 53 public and 18 non-public schools in an 18-county area of north-central Iowa. Learn more at www.centralriversaea.org.