By Jennifer Cahill Erbacher, Senior Director of Media and Public Relations, Project Lead The Way, Inc.
Florida middle schools can apply for a grant to offer hands-on, project-based computer science learning to their students for the 2017-18 school year. More than $3 million in grant funding is available to 150 middle schools nationwide, thanks to Verizon and Project Lead The Lead (PLTW), a nonprofit that provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers. The grant is an expansion of an initial $5 million partnership between the two organizations, which has allowed more than 240 middle schools across 36 states – including 20 in Florida – to train teachers and implement PLTW’s high-quality computer science curriculum.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates more than 1.3 million open positions in computer- and math-related fields by 2022, with computer science skills needed in more than 180 industries from auto repair to health care. Yet a recent Gallup survey showed that less than 40 percent of U.S. schools offer any form of computer science education.
PLTW’s middle school computer science units – App Creators and Computer Science for Innovators and Makers – are part of PLTW’s K-12 Computer Science pathway and are built on PLTW’s hands-on, project-based instructional approach. The units provide an opportunity for students to experience computer science in a relevant and engaging way, empowering them to solve problems using the powerful ideas behind computational thinking and preparing them for further computer science learning in high school.
The application for grant funding is currently open, and eligible schools must apply by April 15. For more information or to apply, visit https://www.pltw.org/experience-pltw/funding-and-grant-opportunities