USU partners with Google to expand computer science education

The National 4-H Council recently announced a new $6 million collaboration with Google to bring computer science education to underserved youth across the country with a new Computer Science Pathway. Utah State University Extension’s 4-H program has been a key partner in co-creating the computer science curriculum and developing tools for educators to implement the program, according to a press release from the organization.

USU Extension 4-H supports the 4-H Computer Science Pathway by providing training for 15 4-H programs at a variety of land-grant universities. The training teaches youth and adults how they can develop and implement computer science education programs that align with local interests, needs and resources.

The Google-supported program lays the groundwork for 4-H to deliver computer science education across the organization, which reaches nearly 6 million youth in every county in the United States.

The collaboration will focus on how computer science skills can prepare youth for their future careers, regardless of their chosen profession.

These efforts build on a robust USU Extension computer science program for youth. Across the state, USU Extension 4-H programs provide training and support for youth interested in a computer science pathway. These experiences include camps, 4-H clubs, teacher professional development, competitions and more.

Google’s support will equip 4-H educators with new funding, curriculum, training, devices and access to Google computer science experts. As with most 4-H programs, the effort will feature teen-led, peer-to-peer mentoring.

“I am grateful that Google.org supports the build out of the Computer Science Pathway,” said Dave Francis, USU Extension youth development director. “Utah youth and dedicated volunteers have been early adopters of youth computer science programs.”