DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced the six schools selected to each receive $50,000 grants through the Computer Science is Elementary project. The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and the Iowa Department of Education are partnering with business and industry on this project to transform six high-poverty elementary schools into models of innovative computer science instruction. The goal is to create opportunities for students and a statewide network of computer science expertise.
The six schools, which Gov. Reynolds named at the 2019 Future Ready Iowa-STEM Summit, are:
• Denison Elementary in the Denison Community School District.
• Lenihan Intermediate in the Marshalltown Community School District.
• Cora B. Darling Elementary in the Postville Community School District.
• East Union Elementary in the East Union Community School District.
• Perry Elementary in the Perry Community School District.
• Richardson Elementary in the Fort Madison Community School District.
“Computer science is a new basic skill that’s required for success in a workforce constantly impacted by innovation and technology,” said Gov. Reynolds. “With tomorrow’s workers sitting in today’s classrooms, we must prepare our students to be continuous learners and adaptable for the disruptive economy of the future.”
The Computer Science is Elementary Project aligns with Future Ready Iowa, which sets the goal of 70 percent of the workforce having education or training beyond high school by the year 2025. The initiative also focuses on strengthening preK-12 education and career exploration and preparation.
“To continue Iowa’s prosperity, we must invest in our students and their futures. By introducing computer science in our elementary schools and giving young Iowans access to these in-demand skills, they will be ready for the unlimited opportunities awaiting them in our state,” said Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg.
Thirty schools applied for the awards, which are possible thanks to generous support from private-sector partners that raised $350,000 total: Collins Aerospace as the lead sponsor, Principal Financial Group, MidAmerican Energy, Kemin Industries, Microsoft, Google, ITC Midwest, Alliant Energy, Technology Association of Iowa, Verizon, Paragon IT, AT&T, School Administrators of Iowa, Workiva, Pella Rolscreen Foundation, Merchant Bonding and Bankers Trust.
Loess Hills Computer Programming School, the inspiration for the Computer Science is Elementary project, also will receive a $50,000 grant to serve as a project resource.
The six schools selected to receive the $50,000 planning grants will implement their programs no later than the 2020-21 school year with regular school funding.