The Issue: Lack of Interest in Computing Careers
The next six years will see more than 1.5 million new jobs in computing occupations such as database administration and computer software engineering, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, interest and advanced skills in science and math seems to be declining among teens. The percentage of students taking the ACT that indicated they were interested in majoring in computer and information science has dropped from 4.5% to 2.9% in the past five years, according to data from the ACT. In 2005, only 41% of students who graduated high school achieved the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in math.
The Campaign: Funding a Scholarship to Technology Camp
If this Grassroots campaign raises $350, then Tech Corps can fund tuition for one student at Techie Camp. Each additional $10 raised will go toward funding additional scholarships. During Techie Camp, students in grades five through eight learn how to build functional Lego Mindstorms NXT robots. In the process, they also develop programming, engineering, and technology skills, as well as critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, in a team setting.
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Publisher Emeritus of CIO magazine Gary Beach founded Tech Corps in 1995 to build technology infrastructures in public schools. Since its inception, it has organized more than 10,000 volunteers to help institute new technology in K–12 schools. Programs including a computer grant, afterschool clubs, and a summer Techie Camp provide youth with access to technological resources and train them in modern skills that will help make them competitive in the workforce. Techie Camp and Techie Club immerse elementary- and middle-school students in hands-on curricula that teaches them to build or work with Lego Mindstorms NXT robots, expanding their knowledge of topics related to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.