Labor and Economic Opportunity
November 30, 2021
Media Contact: Beata Kica, 517-614-9773
The Michigan K-12 Computer Science Professional Learning Network is set to host the second annual Computer Science Education Leadership Summit, a virtual gathering of stakeholders and leaders to discuss how to support Michigan schools as they continue to implement computer science education to better prepare students for the growing array of in-demand careers in the field. The virtual summit will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2.
"We need to continue working together towards our goal of offering every student in Michigan a hands-on computer science education that will prepare them for the growing array of good-paying jobs in the industry," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "Creating a diverse pipeline of students with computer science skills is critical to our state's economic future. By investing in our children's education, we can help every kid get the skills they need to succeed anywhere they go and build a more prosperous Michigan where companies seeking highly-skilled talent can grow and thrive."
The event brings together organization and business leaders, higher education institutions, curriculum leaders, legislators, administrators and computer science teachers for a meaningful discussion and collaboration on how to improve Michigan's computer science education landscape and make it more accessible for all students across the state, based on Michigan's current state of computer science education implementation.
"As we focus on strengthening Michigan's workforce, we need to keep building competitive advantages by growing and upskilling our tech talent," said Susan Corbin, Director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). "In order to ensure Michigan's strong and competitive economic future, we must grow our computer literate workforce by increasing computer science access and equity in classrooms across Michigan."
The Michigan K-12 Computer Science Professional Learning Network consists of the MiSTEM Network, Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Computer Science Teachers Association chapter. This year will feature speakers from the Michigan Department of Education, Code.org Advocacy Coalition, College Board, LEO and the Michigan Chapter of Computer Science Teachers Association.
The summit will include a discussion of Michigan's Computer Science Education Landscape Report, what Michigan has accomplished over the past year and next steps for Michigan's implementation.
"All students should be equipped with computer science skills to allow them to be creators in the digital economy," said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. "Educators and business leaders increasingly recognize that computer science is a new basic skill fundamental to economic success and social mobility."
Studies indicate that computer science education can help students beyond computing and has been linked with higher rates of college enrollment and improved problem-solving abilities. Specifically, according to College Board data, women who try AP Computer Science in high school are 10 times more likely to major in computer science, and Black and Latinx students are seven times more likely.
"Technology surrounds us, and computer science and information technology jobs will only continue to grow," said Laura Clark, State Chief Information Officer of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). "Prioritizing computer science education is critical to our state's future."
To register for the summit, visit Michigan.gov/MiSTEM.