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WySLICE program introduced to educators across the state

The WySLICE program is not an effort to create computer science experts, but it does allow teachers to recognize ways that they can introduce computer science learning skills into the classrooms with lessons they’re already teaching.
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 6:22 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Computer science will be a required K-12 education component in Wyoming beginning the fall of 2022. WySLICE is a University of Wyoming program that is helping teachers integrate computer science lessons into the classroom.

24 teachers from across the state took part in the first WySLICE program.

Mike Borowczak, a University of Wyoming Loy and Edith assistant professor of computer science, is the person in charge of putting WySLICE together and making it happen, and he said the goal of the program is get to get kindergarten through eighth grade students access to computer science.

“We recognize that educators have a lot on their plates, and we’re not asking them to do one more thing,” said Borowczak. “We’re showing them techniques to help them make direct connections they’re already doing with computer science.”

The goal is not to turn teachers into computer science experts, but it is to provide educators with the tools to teach computer science.

“It was exciting to see the passion that our teachers and librarians have throughout the state in terms of taking this new content and trying to get it into the hands, into the minds of students,” said Borowczak.

Wyoming State Superintendent Jillian Balow said it’s becoming more critical that students possess computer science skills.

“Soon, the digital divide won’t be who has technology and who doesn’t, or who has connectivity and who doesn’t, because we’re really close to bridging those two divides,” said Balow. “The divide will be students, or people, who consume technology and those who use technology to innovate.”

Wyoming is one of the first states to require computer science in classrooms before high school.

“If we’re leading right now at the ground level of just making sure students have access to high quality computer science education, think about what the next step is,” said Balow.

The WySLICE program would not have been possible without a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

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