The National Science Foundation recently awarded nearly $1 million to support the inclusion of computer science education in Wyoming schools and libraries.
The grant, sponsored by the University of Wyoming, will be branded as Wyoming’s Schools and Libraries Integrating Computer Science Education (WySLICE) and will prepare 150 K-8 teachers and Wyoming librarians from all disciplines to integrate computer science into their curricula. The grant award lasts through July 2022.
The Wyoming State Library is a community partner on the project. The WSL will help coordinate any programs and trainings in local public and community college libraries that are scheduled in addition to the ones planned in the schools. State Librarian Jamie Markus is a member of the WySLICE Community Engagement Advisory Board.
The Wyoming Legislature recently mandated that computer science instruction be provided in K-12 schools by 2022. The grant application was backed with letters of support from former Gov. Matt Mead, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, and 17 other partners.
UW College of Engineering and Applied Science Assistant Professor Mike Borowczak led the grant application and will oversee research throughout the project.
“Computer science is rapidly becoming a need-to-know competency for all,” Borowczak says. “WySLICE will study how to enable our students and communities to be exposed to fundamental computer science concepts in an integrated fashion that goes beyond just programming.”