CCR Announces Computer Science Pilot

The Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) is pleased to announce it has received a grant from The Harold Alfond® Foundation for a computer science pilot program at Waterville Senior High School. The pilot program furthers the Waterville Senior High School curriculum by providing students with computer science skills and experiences for success in an industry that is the number one source* of all new wages in the U.S.

The Foundation’s grant funds will support the design of “Cyber Panthers,” a one-credit elective, which introduces students to the breadth of computer science and provides opportunities for students to develop career paths within the field. Additionally, students will have opportunities for internships and interaction with a variety of partners from industry, higher education, and successful local organizations supporting the program.

CCR distinguishes its approach to curriculum development by:
• Providing the most up-to-date, rapidly evolving, real-world-centric, employer-vetted curriculum. Computer science topics covered during the course include: game development and design, apps development, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain and cyber security, and more.
• Encompassing entrepreneurship-driven, project-based approaches.
• Embedding CCR’s Four-Dimensional Education framework (aka “21st century skills” and social/emotional learning (SEL)) into the computer science curriculum. Through instruction and experience, students develop skills, character, and meta-learning abilities.

Charles Fadel, founder of CCR, stated, “CCR is delighted for this opportunity to serve the Waterville community with a leading-edge offering that brings together the hottest, in-demand discipline of computer science with the needs of employers, for applicability and development of 21st century skills. We are very grateful to the Harold Alfond® Foundation for its enlightened support and to the entire Waterville Senior High School team – board, administration, and faculty – for its leadership and vision.”

Waterville Public Schools Superintendent Eric Haley said, “Waterville Public Schools is dedicated to helping all students reach their academic potential while teaching real world life skills that are marketable in today’s business world. We feel strongly that this new initiative will engage students, increase their academic potential and better prepare them for the world of work and/or post-secondary education no matter what field of work or study they decide to pursue. We are very grateful to Charles Fadel and his Center for Curriculum Redesign for selecting Waterville Senior High School for this pilot program and to the Harold Alfond® Foundation for seeing the game changing importance of this work to provide a higher quality of life for many of our students.”

Principal Laramee from Waterville Senior High School stated, “The Cyber Panther initiative is an exciting opportunity for Waterville Senior High School and our community. This initiative is aligned to our school’s learning expectations and will benefit students by promoting student’s academic expectations, civic expectations, and social expectations. This initiative will help boost student engagement, increase student’s hope for the future, and provide students the career and financial literacy skills they are lacking. I feel strongly that the skills learned in this program will help promote student post-secondary aspirations and/or better prepare our students to begin their careers upon graduation.”

“It is more important than ever that we prepare our students for the age of a data economy,” said Gregory W. Powell, Chairman of the Harold Alfond® Foundation. “So we are delighted to be supporting this pilot initiative to introduce and provide the most relevant computer science education to Waterville’s young people.”

The pilot, which was approved unanimously by both the Waterville Curriculum Committee and the Waterville School Board, will begin in August 2019 for incoming freshman students.

The Harold Alfond® Foundation’s mission focuses on furthering the legacy of philanthropist Harold Alfond by investing in education, health care, youth development, and other charitable causes that hold the promise of making enduring, transformative contributions to the community and state of Maine.

CCR is a non-profit global organization dedicated to improving education and openly propagating its recommendations and frameworks on a worldwide basis, via answering this question: “What should students learn for the 21st Century?” CCR brings together international organizations, jurisdictions, academic institutions, corporations, and non-profit organizations including foundations. For more information about the program, Contact Us.

*(according to Code.org)

What makes the Waterville Sr. High School Computer Science Program Unique?

 

  1. The course will encompass a broad curriculum not limited to just coding, but also computational thinking, artificial intelligence, and IT devices.  It will also focus on real-world applications such as gaming and app development, augmented and virtual reality, cyber security and blockchain, and even applications in the Humanities and Arts, making the program more relevant and interesting to any student.
  2. The course will be frequently updated to remain state-of-the-art in a rapidly changing technology, particularly about Artificial Intelligence.
  3. The course builds “Identity, Agency, and Purpose” as a condition to learning for students. These qualities are developed by our partners such as: JMG, CGI, Waterville Senior High School, and the Harold Alfond Foundation.
  4. Embedded throughout the curriculum is a comprehensive and deliberate development of skills, character, and meta-learning – the components of a 21st century education “four-dimensional” framework that provides students the knowledge and competencies needed to thrive in today’s (and tomorrow’s) world.
  5. By the third and fourth year of the program, entrepreneurship will be included as a component of the program, providing students an additional expertise to nurture their talents to create opportunities after they leave high school.
  6. The program is designed to incorporate projects and career path exploration.  Local employers will support the program through job shadowing, internships, and mentoring to further instill material relevance and potential for career development.

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