May 19, 2022

stickyriceles

Software Development

Mercer gets grant to help rural-area computer science teachers


Mercer will use the grant to provide opportunities for 16 teachers from sixth to 12th grade in eight rural counties.

DUBLIN, Ga. — Mercer University received a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant to develop computer science teachers for rural Georgia school districts.

Dublin City Schools is one of the schools that will benefit.

Andrew Harvey is an engineering teacher at the Dublin City Schools Gifted Academy. He says this grant will help give students more access.

“A lot of kids don’t know what they don’t know, and if they don’t have experience with it or an introduction to it, they are missing a whole lot of their potential,” Harvey said.

Harvey says grants like this bring the resources to rural communities desperately needed for kids to learn what they can excel at.

Harvey has a student named Alan Myers who has a passion for computer science. When Myers grows up, he wants to be a programmer or an electrical engineer.

“I came across JavaScript, which is what all the browsers are made of. I was like, ‘Wait a minute — this is like my playground,'” Myers said. 

Harvey says many people don’t realize how rural communities rely on technology in fields like agriculture, healthcare, and the military. 

This program gives teachers a chance to pass on what they learn to their students to make sure students like Alan get the very best education.

“Like in this engineering classroom, it allows you to be open about what you like. Embrace, ‘OK, we’ll teach you this if you actually want to learn this,'” Myers said. 

Tom Koballa, Dean of Tift College of Education at Mercer University, says this project will help prepare the teachers to be computer science teacher leaders.

“Through this five-year project, we want to help them develop the leadership skills so that they can guide other teachers as they begin to develop their interests and expertise in computer science teaching,” Koballa said. 

Harvey says the kids he teaches are our future. 

Mercer will use the grant to provide opportunities for 16 teachers from sixth to 12th grade in eight rural counties.



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