This year, a dozen North Carolina school districts will benefit from a total of $800,000 in grants aimed at developing student skills in computer science through coding. The Coding and Mobile App Development Grant program, launched in 2017 with funding from the General Assembly, supports partnerships with local businesses to help schools develop computer science, coding and mobile app development programs for middle and high school students.
The grants, which range from $27,000 to $80,000 this year, help districts and schools purchase equipment, digital materials and cover the costs associated with teacher professional development to build capacity in coding, computer science and mobile application development initiatives.
Applicants for this year’s round of grants indicated a primary goal of establishing strategies to implement and integrate the new NC K-12 Computer Science Standards by prioritizing professional development for teachers and introducing students to computer science in novel ways.
Partnerships include a variety of business and industry connections across the state, including such companies and organizations as BirdBrain Technologies, Carolina Codes, TechSmart, STEM West, The Dot Consulting, Code First, Code Next, NASACAR and Cyber Intelligence Transforming Youth.
“The technology sector is one of the fastest growing industries in North Carolina, and exposing students to careers and laying an early foundation for the skills needed to succeed in these jobs is imperative,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt. “Initiatives like the Coding and Mobile App Development grants help ensure that North Carolina’s students are provided the opportunities and experiences necessary to thrive in a rapidly evolving workforce.”
The proposed partnership initiatives provide increased opportunities for students to aim for high-wage, high-skill and in-demand careers through increased work-based learning experiences such as internships, pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships with local business and industry.
Some districts and schools are using funds to continue and expand programs started through previous years’ grant monies. Other districts and schools began implementing programs this spring.
During the 2022-23 school year, the grant program afforded the opportunity for more than 21,000 students and their teachers, administrators and other staff members throughout the state to experience a coding or mobile app development course as well as exposure to computer science, IT and technology related work in business and industry.
These experiences included embedded activities, work-based learning opportunities, professional development experiences, and other options. The 12 participating schools or school grant recipients added or expanded new coding-related courses or supporting activities for middle or high school students.
The North Carolina schools named as grant recipients are:
|Public School Unit||Grant Amount|
|Mount Airy City Schools||$56,322.00|
|Winston-Salem Forsyth County||$80,000.00|