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  • Verizon & PLTW Offering Computer Science Opportunity for Florida Students

    By: Florida Chamber Of Commerce

    By Jennifer Cahill Erbacher, Senior Director of Media and Public Relations, Project Lead The Way, Inc.

    Florida middle schools can apply for a grant to offer hands-on, project-based computer science learning to their students for the 2019-20 school year. More than $3 million in grant funding is available to 150 middle schools nationwide, thanks to Verizon and Project Lead The Lead (PLTW), a nonprofit that provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers. The grant is an expansion of an initial $5 million partnership between the two organizations, which has allowed more than 240 middle schools across 36 states – including 20 in Florida – to train teachers and implement PLTW’s high-quality computer science curriculum.

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates more than 1.3 million open positions in computer- and math-related fields by 2022, with computer science skills needed in more than 180 industries from auto repair to health care. Yet a recent Gallup survey showed that less than 40 percent of U.S. schools offer any form of computer science education.

    PLTW’s middle school computer science units – App Creators and Computer Science for Innovators and Makers – are part of PLTW’s K-12 Computer Science pathway and are built on PLTW’s hands-on, project-based instructional approach. The units provide an opportunity for students to experience computer science in a relevant and engaging way, empowering them to solve problems using the powerful ideas behind computational thinking and preparing them for further computer science learning in high school.