Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
“Computer Science for All – particularly at the elementary school level – is an investment in our future,” Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
Twelve more City elementary schools – including three in Queens – will participate in the Software Engineering Program Junior for the 2017-2018 school year.
Public School 97 in Woodhaven, PS 354 in Jamaica, and PS 181 in Springfield Gardens, are among the dozen schools set to join the 11 that participated in 2016-2017, the program’s debut year.
According to the administration, SEPjr is the first schoolwide initiative for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade to learn foundational computer science concepts through both computer-based and “unplugged” activities – including block-based coding, robotics, programming “robotic friends” in the class to complete a task, and learning about loops and functions through song and dance. The program is part of the City’s Computer Science for All initiative, which aims to bring computer science to every elementary, middle, and high school by 2025 through public-private partnerships facilitated by the Fund for Public Schools.
“As we move towards our vision of equity and excellence for all students, I am excited to bring SEPjr to 12 more elementary schools this year,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “SEPjr is a one-of-a-kind program, and it demonstrates our commitment to Computer Science for All – which means providing even our youngest learners with the opportunity to learn valuable CS concepts and improve skills like collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving. Computer Science for All shows the commitment of our educators to constantly improving their craft and bringing new, engaging topics back to their students.”
This spring, the de Blasio administration announced 38 additional high schools committing to add the AP Computer Science Principles course for the 2017-2018 school year. Additional elementary, middle, and high schools will also offer a variety of new computer science coursework this fall.
“Computer Science for All – particularly at the elementary school level – is an investment in our future,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As we continue to expand programs like SEPjr, the AP Computer Science Principles course, and other computer science pathways, we are ensuring that our kids have the skills they need to be the next generation of creators and leaders.”
According to the Department of Education, through computer science education, students learn to think and solve problems, collaborate and build relationships with peers, communicate and create with technology, and better understand technology we interact with daily.
“I am glad to see continued expansion of programs such as the SEPjr program for our schools. Continued effort to give our children early computer science skills and education will help benefit them in the 21st-century economy. I am also happy to see that PS 97 The Forest Park School is a part of this expansion for 2017-2018,” said Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven). “I look forward to the continued effort DOE is making on providing schools with cutting edge educational programs geared toward computer science.”
City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), chairman of the Council Education Committee, added, “Coding, robotics and other computer-based education teach students to think creatively and strategically. Thanks to this initiative, those who wish to major in computer science in college will have a head start. I fully support this important work and am pleased that the city continues to prioritize Computer Science for All.”