Computer science in all schools? State school leaders are considering that and more

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- When we think about what our kindergarteners are learning in class, we probably aren't thinking computer science. But it's 2019, and jobs are changing. So are kids. Georgia schools are considering making that apart of the curriculum.

State school leaders are working to make computer science apart of the K-8 curriculum statewide. All of it is to make sure students are prepared to fill cyber and tech-related jobs down the road.

"Welcome to STEAM night sir," said Elijah Gilbert. He's a student at Belair K-8 off of Jimmy Dyess Parkway, and he's not your average eighth grader.

"I've got like five robots now," said Gilbert.

Five robots that he built himself through the programs at Belair K-8. It's the school's first year, and is "STEAM" focused.

"It's fun, plus engineering is a good job when i get older. Good money, good pay." said Gilbert.

He's got the right idea. School leaders are introducing science, math and technology courses earlier -- so they're prepared for tech careers sooner.

"We want them to have the tools to take it to the next level," said Josh Workman, Principal at Belair K-8. "Not just to be fully productive citizens, but also to be leaders in society. Not just around the world but here in Richmond County."

It's happening at the state level, too. State school board leaders are considering making computer science a class for all students, K-12, and not just a high school elective.

"Here in Richmond County, it's the center and core of cyber," said Workman. "With that, and the tools that are learned through computer science, it'll make sure the students have tools to be leaders in our society."

Schools would introduce it in kindergarten, add on in third grade, and increase the difficulty from 6th to 8th grade. The goal is to feed into high school computer science pathways, and then turn them towards tech careers after.
"It's a wonderful idea." said Workman.

Just an idea right now , but for students like Gilbert it means a job in the future.

"I just keep learning how to make robots and how to keep growing and growing." said Gilbert.

Right now the curriculum change is just a plan. We'll let you know when and if it's passed at the state level.