Educators, Innovators Call for Earlier Introduction to Computer Science.

PittsburghTribune-Review (PA) (02/27/12) Bobby Kerlik

Many educators believe schools need to introduce computer science to students as early as kindergarten, while private companies are developing programs to mentor students and maintain interest in computer science and engineering. Although the number of applications is rising at many engineering and computer science schools, U.S. students are still lagging behind international students. For example, the Class of 2012 at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science drew 2,390 applicants, with just 590 of those coming from the United States. “Most [U.S.] students are not exposed to computer science in the same way they are to biology and physics,” says Carnegie Mellon computer science department head Jeannette Wing. “We have to incorporate computer science at the K-12 level. It’s not easy to do, but this is what is needed.” The University of Pittsburgh runs a four-week residential program aimed at introducing minority college students to technology professions and programs. Meanwhile, the Westinghouse Science Honors Institute allows high school juniors to attend lectures and work on group projects for 10 Saturdays at the George Westinghouse Research and Technology Park.

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