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BCSD places a priority on computer science, coding

Published Friday, December 7, 2018

Cookies Cocoa and Coding event

This photo was taken during the Cookies, Cocoa and Coding event at College Park Middle. (BCSD photo)


This week students around the globe participated in events related to Computer Science Education Week. Berkeley County School District schools and classrooms were no exception as teachers and administrators continue to focus on preparing students for a future workforce saturated in technology.

From a Cookies, Cocoa and Coding event after hours at College Park Middle to programs running robot vultures at Cainhoy Elementary, students from every inch of the county were immersed in all things computer science.

It was a series of events that began with BCSD educators invited to attend the Computer Science Education Week kickoff in Seattle, as the district has been recognized for its work to make technology a priority in classrooms. BCSD educators were sponsored at the event by Code.org. It was also a whole lot of fun that BCSD Director of Instructional Technology Priscilla Calcutt said relates directly back to regular instruction and standards.

Those standards, she said, expand far beyond coding and what some folks might think about when they hear the term "computer science."

"Supporting the implementation of computer science and digital literacy is a shared effort and is not isolated to math, science, or a technology class," Calcutt said. "BCSD content coordinators and instructional technologists work to connect learning with real world experiences and not in isolation. Schools are making great progress toward making learning relevant and connecting learning with real world problems and applications."

Calcutt said the excitement behind Computer Science Education Week is essential in reminding parents, students and teachers of the skills needed for success. She said the activities and experiences allow students invaluable opportunities to "problem solve, reflect and try once again." 

"We live in a global society and need to prepare our students differently than when we were students. It's no longer only about the facts or knowledge you know when you graduate from school. We want students to leave with strong soft skills, be resilient, flexible, have the ability to problem solve- creating and designing solutions, to feel empowered... Each and every student has the ability to change the world," she said. 

With automation becoming more commonplace in work environments, BCSD Career and Technical Education Program Coordinator Heidi Guerry said maintaining and improving upon a culture that supports computer science is essential.

"Through these events, students learn a process of thinking that I think can be applied to everything," Guerry said. "There is a huge industry need for children to have logic-based and problem-solving skills."