Computer Science – grim statistics

Given the big push from above to focus on STEM, it is surprising to read these statistics reported in a recent article in The Washington Post:

  • Nationally, the percentage of schools that offer an introductory computer science course dropped from 78 percent in 2005 to 65 percent this year.
  • Similarly, enrollment in computer science AP courses decreased from 40 percent to 27 percent.

Data according to a survey by the Computer Science Teachers Association.

Chris Stephenson, executive director of the New York-based Computer Science Teachers Association highlights some very interesting and concerning observations:

  • “…a generation of teenagers great at using computers will be unlikely to play a role in the way computer technology shapes lives in the future…”
  • “Their knowledge of technology is very broad but very shallow.” Of course, these facts have economic implications for the U.S. Stephenson states, “If you look at history, the nations with economic superiority are building the tools the rest of the world is using.”

The question still remains: how do we get more young people interested in STEM?