(HELENA) Governor Steve Bullock and Superintendent Elsie Arntzen joined students on Monday during the “Hour Of Code” to highlight the importance of computer science education.
Bullock and Arntzen participated in an introductory computer science lesson in a 6th-grade classroom at Helena Middle School as part of the Hour Of Code. Hour Of Code, a one-hour introduction to computer science, is an international event over the course of the first week of December to raise awareness about computer science education and the importance of making computer science education accessible to all students.
Governor Bullock said in a press release. “Every Montana student should have the opportunity to engage in computer science coursework, thus preparing the workforce of tomorrow to take on high-demand, good-paying jobs.”
“The goal of my Montana Ready initiative is to provide students with the skills that they need to succeed in Montana’s modern economy after they graduate,” said Superintendent Arntzen. “Computer science has produced some of the highest paying new jobs in our state and we must prepare Montana students for success in these industries. It was great to see students across Montana furthering their problem-solving skills today.”
This week, nearly 200 schools across Montana are participating in Hour Of Code events. For a full list, visit https://hourofcode.com/us/events/all/us/mt.
An increasing number of occupations requires workers to have at least some level of basic technology literacy and proficiency, and computer science occupations are high wage and in high demand across Montana. Only 40% of Montana high schools currently offer computer science courses.
The press release says that Bullock is proposing an investment of $250,000 in professional development for computer science teachers during the 2021 Biennium. Increasing training opportunities for teachers will help to ensure that students can gain the skills they need to choose a computer science career pathway.