Matzie: $70,000 in state grants to expand computer science for Beaver County students

AMBRIDGE, Jan. 17 – Computer science will play an expanded role in the curriculum for Beaver County students, thanks to $70,000 in state funding under the PAsmart Initiative, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today.

Matzie said Ambridge Area School District and Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit 27 will each receive $35,000 PAsmart targeted grants from the state Department of Education.

“Computer science teaches students essential problem-solving skills and a provides a fluency with technology that is relevant in nearly any work setting,” Matzie said. “Even if a student isn’t planning to work in a traditional computer-based field such as data management or software design, the computing and logic skills they learn will be needed in a wide range other fields, particularly in today’s digital world, where everything is tech-driven.

“Securing this funding ensures that our students will keep pace with modern workplace demands and that our business and industry has a tech-savvy pool of new workers.”

The grants – a component of Gov. Wolf’s PAsmart Initiative – are part of a $5.7 million package providing $35,000 a piece to 162 school districts, charter schools and intermediate units statewide. The funding is 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.