Computer Science knowledge ensures that students are competitive and adaptable in the labor market, not just for jobs in computer science, but for many occupations that increasingly require “double-deep” skills (those with training and expertise in
technology and computing in addition to the skills traditionally demanded by those occupations). In an effort to address the shortage of certified computer science teachers in the state of Texas, The Texas State Aquarium/Flint Hill Resources Center for
Excellence in STEM Education Computer Science Collaborative’s grant will work with 30 teachers to help them improve the computational thinking and academic achievement in computer science students and prepare at least 5 of the teachers to be successful on the Texas 8-12 Computer Science Certification Exam. The grant will provide support and training to the teachers through a comprehensive professional development program of a minimum of 60 hours for each participant that will include basic coding and design including incorporating variables and mathematical algorithms and robotics. They will then use these skills to program and build working solutions and connect science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. As the teachers Code, Design and Build, they will learn strategies to get students asking questions that prompt exploration and conceptual
understanding in basic programming, engineering design, mathematics and science. The grant will also provide teachers with materials and equipment necessary to be successful with the program.