Longietti: $35,000 PAsmart grant to enhance computer science curriculum for Mercer County students

HERMITAGE, Jan. 20 – Mercer County students will see more computer science in the curriculum, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today.

Longietti said the $35,000 PAsmart targeted grant to Farrell Area School District will allow students to develop a range of skills that will help them now and in the future.

“Computer science teaches skills that are useful far beyond the keyboard,” Longietti said. “Students learn to problem-solve and analyze data, developing confidence and self-reliance that empower them to succeed. They also become fluent in technology, which is critical for our next generation of workers – even those who don’t plan to work in the tech field – because nearly all modern businesses and industries rely on computers and information technology for their successful operation.”

The grants – a component of Gov. Tom Wolf’s PAsmart Initiative – are part of a $5.7 million package providing $35,000 apiece to 163 school districts, charter schools and intermediate units statewide.

The grants are designed to help schools introduce and expand computer science programming and to provide teacher training in computer science. The awardees have prioritized expanding access to computer science for underrepresented students, including students of color, girls, low-income students and those in rural communities.