The Center for Computer Science Education and Outreach (CCSEO) received a $40k grant from State Farm Insurance on Thursday, April 17th. The check presentation took place at Synergy Park North at the end of a community event held for State Farm, Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC), and the City of Richardson.
Ashley Pettit, State Farm Vice President for Systems, first spoke on behalf of State Farm. “As our company grows with the establishment of the new State Farm campus located less than four miles away from the UT Dallas, we look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Computer Science Department , the Erik Jonsson School, and UT Dallas,” she said. “State Farm is proud to support UT Dallas in its efforts to foster STEM education among K-12 students through the Computer Science Education and Outreach Programs; we look forward to partnering with UT Dallas as we work to build the workforce of the future” she further added.
Dr. Jey Veerasamy, director of the CCSEO, accepted the check from State Farm, saying “the grant from State Farm and their involvement in STEM education will allow the UT Dallas Computer Science Department and the Center for Computer Science Education and Outreach to greatly expand and broaden K-12 programs to economically disadvantaged communities, to provide key resources towards equipment, and accelerate the curriculum development for our workshops.”
Dr. Mark Spong, Dean, Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, presided over the event and welcomed State Farm to the community.
With the State Farm grant, the CS Education and Outreach program will now have the ability to expand their programs to locations in low-income communities and establish another ten After School Coding Clubs in Title I elementary schools. Curriculum materials for an additional eight core topics will be developed that will also be made available to participating school districts for their own use. The grant will also make it possible to purchase laptops that will be used by the students attending Summer Camps in economically disadvantaged communities.
Since 2009, more than 5,000 K-12 students have attended the camps, clubs and workshops that the Computer Science Education and Outreach program offer at locations throughout the community. The program develops and delivers high-quality content that is specifically aimed at introducing children of all ages to computer programming and computational thinking. The UT Dallas CS faculty and students offer their expertise as instructors in the programs that are offered by the CS Education and Outreach Program. These programs are designed to inspire and challenge the students at a young age to pursue their interests in computer programming and help build the foundation needed for future successes in college STEM programs.
Dr. Veerasamy explaining the multi-step approach recommended and followed by CS Outreach programs.