The Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) announced today that they have been awarded a Competitive GO Virginia grant for $2,424,537 to support the Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline initiative. The application was submitted by LEF in partnership with GO Virginia Region 7 and Region 5 leadership.
The grant will support the 6-12 grade portion of the K-12 Computer Science Pipeline initiative, funding the creation and implementation of an education model for teaching computer science and computational thinking skills, as well as providing computer science electives in middle school, and an Experiential Learning program in high school involving internships for both Loudoun County Public Schools and Chesapeake Public Schools.
“The Loudoun Education Foundation is committed to educating students with skill sets that will prepare them for current and future jobs in our digital world,” said Scott Miller, LEF President and Chairman. “In the Commonwealth of Virginia, we have a technology workforce crisis. The Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline initiative will help address this problem. Computer science education will prepare students to work in technology jobs like Cybersecurity, Computer Services, and Data Analytics, not to mention the tech jobs of the future that these students will be creating as future industry leaders. The program creates a long-term systemic solution for today’s technology workforce crisis and develops a pipeline for our future industry leaders.”
The GO Virginia funding will support the purchase of equipment, program operations, and personnel. The LEF believes that providing exposure to computer science and computational thinking skills early in a child’s life will increase their interest and aptitude.
“I am incredibly excited about this grant,” said Dawn Meyer, Executive Director of LEF and former educator. “The LEF is working with two innovative Superintendents that recognize the importance of teaching computer science through integration. Together, we are developing a strategy to ensure this initiative is replicable for other school systems across the Commonwealth with a plan for professional development, a database of curriculum and procedures for integration into core subject areas, and guidelines for building partnerships with STEM companies to develop experiential learning opportunities. This grant helps Virginia lead in computer science education in middle and high schools.”