Weeks after passing one of the “most ambitious” computer science education bills in the nation, Wyoming is already making commitments to increasing STEM education in the classroom.
“Boot Up Wyoming 2022,” announced Monday, is the state’s program dedicated to implementing computer science classes over the next four years.
The program will analyze costs and district needs, train teachers and facilitate the development of statewide standards established by the State Board of Education (SBE) to satisfy the requirements of Senate Enrolled Act 0048, which added computational thinking and computer science to the state education program.
“Computer science is a critical skill set that all students need to build, starting from an early age,” said State Superintendent Jillian Balow in a statement. “It is important today and even more important tomorrow. I am so excited for Wyoming’s students, who will have the opportunity to learn computer science at all grade levels.”
Officials from the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) plan to visit all 48 school districts in the state over the next six months to understand the needs of each district, while also holding regular webinars to address program development.
In order to meet Balow’s goal of training 500 computer science teachers by 2023, the “Boot Up” program highlights four pathways educators can take to get certified, including traditional program completion with an institutional recommendation; completion of 27 credit hours and a passing score on the Praxis exam; a professional, industry and careers permit; or a new exception authorization in computing technology, which would allow educators to teach computer science through a
district-approved professional development plan.
“Boot Up” is also looking for outside input, Balow said. Parents and industry representatives are encouraged to apply to join the committee to review computer science standards, which will review the statewide standards created by the SBE and WDE in approximately two years.