What’s Right With Schools: Project Future brings computer science into Meriden classrooms

Whats Right With Schools

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — There are a lot of languages you can learn in the classroom. Here in Meriden public schools, they’re adding another one: the language of coding.

It all stemmed from a partnership made possible by the United States Department of Education.

“Project Future is funded by the United States Department of Education. It’s a five-year, $5 million grant project that’s taking place in Connecticut and in Wisconsin, in collaboration between Sacred Heart University and Marquette University,” said Darcy Ronan, an assistant professor at Sacred Heart University and project director for Project Future.

Project Future is bringing computer science into classrooms throughout Meriden. The computer science lessons will educate 4,000 elementary school students district-wide.

“We believe that computer science should be taught just like math, just like reading, in everyday learning,” said Jacqueline Smalls, chief programs officer for code.org.

Before the first day of school, teachers gathered for professional development day, learning all about coding and computer science.

It’s one of the first of its kind given the magnitude. Usually, the workshops look a little different and one teacher would attend the workshop. But in Meriden, every elementary school teacher will be trained and set up to bring it back to their classrooms.

“We want students to not only be users of technology but creators of technology,” Ronan said.

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