TFSD strives to expand STEM offerings for students

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-related fields are in high demand. In response, K-12 education is taking steps to provide more STEM learning opportunities for students.

The Twin Falls School District currently offers a variety of computer science courses and is making strides to expand STEM opportunities. One of the ways the district introduces students to STEM learning is through Hour of Codewhich is a national campaign that aims to expand access to computer coding courses.

Twin Falls High School participated in the event with many returning and newbie coders.

“I actually got the hour of code in fifth grade and that was the first time I had it, and it really sparked a new found interest that I didn’t know I had and helped uncover this whole new world of possibilities,” said Tyler Evans, senior at Twin Falls High School.

Evans was a student organizer of his school’s Hour of Code.

“The students seemed very engaged, and we actually taught them something and got the students interested in computing,” Evans said.

The Hour of Code has aroused the interest of beginning students.

“It kind of gives me some experience and knowledge on how to get started with coding… I’m really looking forward to it next year,” said Brenner Swearingen, freshman and coder for the first time at Twin Falls High School.

According to US Bureau of Labor Statisticsfrom 2020 to 2030, employment in software development is expected to grow by more than 20%.

“We know that science, math, engineering and technology are booming fields. They are where the careers of the future will be for our students and we know they need to have introductory skills before entering the job market or entering colleges or universities to pursue that education,” said Eva. Craner, director of public relations. for Twin Falls School District

Idaho is one of only 23 States that have adopted a policy to give all high school students access to computer science education.

The Twin Falls School District is focused on expanding STEM offerings for all of its students, starting in elementary school.

“Giving students an opportunity early on, even to see what these careers have to offer, just to see what this course of study is like, is really important,” Craner said.

At Twin Falls High School, students have access to web design, IT help desk, coding, and more.

Elementary schools in the district offer coding clubs to help students learn the basics.

“Computing should be included, especially in younger grades, mainly because it is almost as important as learning English. In the modern world, you use it almost every day,” Evans said.

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