Grant for new computer science classes will help students in Bay area schools

Posted at 5:07 PM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 12:47:39-04

A select few schools in the Tampa Bay area could benefit from a three-million dollar grant that will help expand access to Computer Science education.

Any middle school in the Bay area can apply for a grant to help start computer science courses through Project Lead The Way (PLTW).

PLTW has been excelling at Stewart Middle School in Tampa where students have hands on access to fields in technology. 

The students can take courses in robotics, engineering, biomedical science, and other technological courses. 

Verizon is expanding their partnership with PLTW  that will give students in more than 150 middles schools across the U.S. access to computer courses for the first time. 

"The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates more than 1.3 million open positions in computer-and-math related fields by 2022," said President Dr. Vince Bertram, he adds that there are too few of schools that offer the education. "In partnership with Verizon, we can make an impact on the number of students who have access to high-quality computer science education and will be prepared for these growing careers."

Since 2014, the partnership has resulted in more than 240 schools across 36 states offering the computer science curriculum. 

"We are living in a thriving digital economy that will continue to grow, and many jobs of the future will be rooted in science, technology, engineering and math," says Justina Nixon-Saintil, education director for the Verizon Foundation.

As a result of the partnership, students have developed more than 77,000 apps to solve real-world problems. 

Fast-forward about a decade later and students can see into the business of the computer science world through Greg Ross-Munro, CEO of Sourcetoad.

The company is a custom app development that can create apps through coding on various platforms. 

The Tampa business owner has clients to create software for big and small companies like FDOT, Honeywell, and The Salvation Army. 

Ross-Munro, said the tools that kids are learning in the classroom will give students the right mind-set to adapt to the changing technological field. 

He tells us he's been coding since the age of 8, after his grandfather taught him.

"Whatever the future holds is going to be something that they are going to be much more prepared than even I am."

For more information on PLTW curriculums near you, click here.