Free event highlights computer science education through student showcase and hands-on activities for the entire family
RIVERSIDE – The Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) and Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) have partnered to host the first annual Computer Science Community Summit on Saturday, May 11 from 10 am to 3 pm at the RCOE Conference Center (3958 12th St., Riverside). This free event features over 80 student computer science projects and numerous hands-on activities and workshops. Students, families, educators, and the general public, are invited to stop in throughout the day to enjoy the summit.
An opening session and welcome is scheduled for 10:15 in the foyer which will also house sponsor displays and exhibits throughout the day. A hands-on computer science and e-Sports interactive playground is available in the Johnson and Gregory rooms from 10:30 am to 3 pm. Attendees can also explore the student showcase during that time and Lego Robotics will be available from 10 am to 12:30 pm. In addition, the Riverside Public Library STREAM Mobile and several 30 and 60 minute workshops are scheduled. A taco truck will be onsite from 12 to 3 pm for attendees to purchase refreshments.
“We invite students, educators, families, and the public to learn more about the importance and impact of computer science. We want to increase awareness and interest in computer science, and ultimately increase access to computer science courses for our students,” explained Dr. Dennis Large, Director of Educational Technology for RCOE. “The summit highlights the incredible student work happening in our schools and offers innovative and creative ideas to further those endeavors.”
The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Minecraft Academy, presented by NCCE (Northwest Council for Computer Education), will host a workshop for educators in the RCOE Board Room. “Build it, Make it, Know it! Design Thinking with Minecraft: Education Edition and Other Tools,” will help educators learn how to give students meaningful learning experiences while solving problems with imaginative solutions using Minecraft: Education Edition, Microsoft MakeCode, Paint 3D, and the new Photos app for Windows 10. Please be sure to register online for the day’s events!
“We need computer science in everything we do today, and the skills our students gain are needed everywhere,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Judy D. White. “Computer science is one of the most transferable occupations, offering limitless opportunities, high pay, and great job satisfaction for our students.”
Since 2010, computer science ranks as one of the fastest growing undergraduate majors of all STEM fields (Fisher, 2015), and Advanced Placement (AP®) Computer Science A is the fastest growing AP exam, despite being offered in only 5 percent of schools (Code.org, 2015). The launch of AP Computer Science Principles was the largest course launch in history (College Board, 2018). Despite the growth of AP Computer Science Principles, a mere 0.5 percent of high school students in California took the AP Computer Science A exam in 2016 (College Board, 2016). Jobs that use computer science are some of the highest paying, highest growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015), and most in-demand jobs that underpin the economy (The Conference Board, 2016). The computer science field has a shortage of engineers and programmers and an increase in computer science education is vital to fill this need.
Sponsors of the first-ever Computer Science Community Summit include Bourns, California Baptist University – Gordon and Jill Bourns College of Engineering, Inland Area Computer-Using Educators (CUE), Theta Tau, University of Redlands School of Education, and VOCADEMY Skills Discovery and Training Center.
Don’t forget to register online for the Computer Science Community Summit.