On October 24, 2018, NCWIT Counselors for Computing (C4C) hosted a two-day workshop for middle and high school counselors in the Clark County, Nevada school district. Held at the Las Vegas Innevation Center, the event focused on equipping counselors to help students of all genders and backgrounds prepare for the tech jobs of the future. Thirty-seven counselors serving approximately 18,000 students attended this event, which was was facilitated by NCWIT C4C Program Director Angela Cleveland, Las Vegas Affiliate Coordinator Snehal Bhakta, Las Vegas Affiliate President Sonia Petkewich, and C4C Counselor Consultant Lisa Bruce.
Workshop sessions introduced participants to the academic subject of computer science, explained why computing courses must be made accessible for all students, and explored factors currently causing some groups to be underrepresented in the discipline. Participants heard from LEGO spokesperson Paulette Donnellon. They also had the opportunity to play with new virtual reality headsets designed to help students explore computing careers.
Due to the timeliness of the topic, this event attracted some high-profile support. Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) shared a letter with middle and high school counselors in Clark County School District who participated in the workshop. “I understand the importance of ensuring the next generation of leaders are learning crucial computer science and technology skills that will be valuable for the rest of their lives,” Jacky Rosen wrote. She also provided participating counselors with a “Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition” for their dedication to supporting ALL students as they explore computer science education and careers.
Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01) visited with school counselors from Clark County School District on Wednesday, October 24. She spoke to counselors about the value of engaging more underrepresented students in being involved in solving social problems. One way students can get involved is through the Congressional App Challenge. While applications have closed for this year, now is the time for students to begin thinking about problems they want to solve and how computer science can help them to solve these problems in preparation for the opening of the awards for next year.
Congratulations to the C4C team on the completion of this successful and inspiring workshop!