Sainato: $70,000 in state grants will expand computer science learning for Lawrence County students

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 17 – Computer science will play an expanded role in the curriculum for Lawrence County students, thanks to $70,000 in state grants awarded under the PAsmart Initiative, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today.

Sainato said Neshannock Township and Union Area School Districts will each receive a $35,000 PAsmart targeted grant from the state Department of Education.

“There is an important place for computer science in our school curricula right beside traditional subjects such as math, science and engineering,” Sainato said. “In today’s digital era, information technology plays a critical role in nearly every field, and computer skills are becoming an expected part of the skillset demanded by today’s employers. The funding announced today will move us one step closer toward ensuring that our students are prepared for the tech-intensive jobs of the future.”

The grants – a component of Gov. 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.