Computer science careers will be one of the biggest workforces that high school students will enter after college. It is estimated that careers in computer science will grow by 11% in the next 10 years. Computer science skills are in constant demand in the workforce and most computer science jobs are also high-paying jobs. While our students are in high school and middle school, we can support them by providing them with computer science education that connects to real-world technology careers. This will help prepare them for their future and enable them to develop skills now and foster them through college.
Start a Computer Science Club
Computer science clubs are a major way to support students to build their computer science skills while they are in high school and middle school. You can start a computer science club on your own or by teaming up with different teachers on your campus. Not only will these clubs support students and their computer science skills, but they will also be a safe space for students to talk about their passions in computer science. You can also invite computer scientists in the area to come and talk to the students about how they got to where they are and why.
If you decide to start a computer science club on your campus, you could host workshops on various computer science skills to teach students or you can have students who have already mastered a variety of skills teach the students as a method of peer-to-peer mentoring. As a club, you can have different club-wide coding projects like creating a website for the club or for different organizations on campus. You can also have students host a game day where students could compete or show off computer games that they created, and play each other’s computer games.
Organize a Coding Competition
Another way to support students and their computer science skills is by organizing a coding competition. You can host a school-wide, district-wide, area-wide, or just a club-wide competition. This will give students a chance to showcase their skills and provide opportunities for them to practice and learn from other students. You could have computer scientists in the area judge the competition and you can host workshops beforehand to allow students to practice and grow their skills. You can make this a public event to draw in even more students who might not be in the club. This will create a sense of pride in the student for being able to showcase their work and share it with other students.
Collaborate with School Counselors
Yet another way to support students and their computer science skills is by collaborating with school counselors. Your counselors can provide resources available in high schools, colleges, and trade schools for computer science. Take this information and make it readily available in your CS classes, clubs, and competitions as well as in high-traffic areas in the school like the library or cafeteria.