According to the White House, more than 600,000 high-paying tech jobs across the United States went unfilled, and by 2018, 51 percent of all STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields. Moreover, computer science and data science are not only important for the tech sector, but for many industries, including transportation, healthcare, education, and financial services.
In other words, there is much to be done in regard to preparing our young people to thrive in an increasingly STEM-based future.
Recently, the White House announced a new presidential initiative called Computer Science for All, an effort to empower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science and be equipped with the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers. The call has gone out to anyone and everyone who can make a difference, and to date, some 50 entities, both public and private, have committed to doing what they can.
Among them, our good friends at Cartoon Network, who have announced a $30 million commitment to engaging our kids in creative coding!
The network will collaborate with the Scratch Team at MIT’s Media Lab to create free coding tutorials which will be available to children on the Scratch platform—a block-based programming language and online community where young people create their own interactive media projects at no cost (check out the video below, and share it with your students).
In addition, Cartoon Network will use its multi-platform reach to raise awareness of computer literacy and coding among kids.
“This generation of kids is incredibly creative and inventive, and we’re inspired by them every day,” said Christina Miller, president and general manager of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. “Computer literacy and learning to code are vitally important skills that foster creativity and self-expression. With this long-term commitment, we will leverage our brands and platforms to drive awareness for coding and provide access to the necessary tools to kids everywhere. The result, we hope, is that we help inspire the next generation as much as they inspire us.”
Note: Cartoon Network East is channel 296 in your DIRECTV SCHOOL CHOICE channel lineup; Cartoon Network West is channel 297.
—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio
As I’ve said before, two things every student has these days are 1) a camera, and 2) an opinion—or at least a point of view. So it’s no surprise that more and more education-friendly entities (including C-SPAN and CNN Student News), are inviting students to make films.
Chief among those advocates now is none other than President Barack Obama, who has extended an engaging challenge of his own by way of the annual White House Student Film Festival.
The competition is open to all U.S. students grades K-12, who may submit a video up to 3 minutes in length, fiction or documentary, based on this year’s theme, “The Impact of Giving Back.”
“Tell a story about paying it forward, about community service, or what making a difference looks like in your eyes and through your lens,” say the contest’s official rules.
The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2015, so spread the word!
For more information watch the video below, then visit the official White House web site.
—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio
© DIRECTV 2017.