Research shows that 75% of the fastest growing occupations require skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)—which are the building blocks for a career in computer science. We believe New Zealand’s innovation, growth and future prosperity will be accelerated by helping young people develop these critical skills.
As with any curriculum change, teachers will be the key to both educating and inspiring the next generation of innovators in the classroom. At Google and we’ve long supported the professional development of teachers.
We’ve supported the development of CS Unplugged and the Computer Science Field Guide, and many other resources to support teachers and classrooms across New Zealand and around the world. Through our Computer Science for High Schools (CS4HS) program, we work with our partners to train hundreds of high school teachers in computer science across New Zealand each year.
For example, this year we partnered with Professor Tim Bell at Canterbury University in Christchurch to offer the program to Christchurch's primary school teachers. Professor Bell has been working on a pilot to integrate computer science and computational thinking (a set of problem-solving skills and techniques that software engineers use) into other curriculum areas — such as numeracy, literacy, music, and physical education.
Students at Christchurch’s Chisnallwood Intermediate School completing an information theory activity.
While we know there’s a long way to go to implement this curriculum, we’re excited by it’s potential. As the new digital curriculum rolls out, we’re committed to continue our support for teachers to help prepare Kiwi kids for the jobs of the future.