2020 turned out well for Computer Science education. The Hour of Code reached the milestone of over 1 billion engagements worldwide, in the United States the College Board reported a 13% growth in the AP Computer Science exams and in the United Kingdom there was a 7.6% increase year-on-year in the number of people accepted on to computer science degrees.
Announcing the successful completion of the 2020 Hour of Code, and the continued availability of its Code Bytes, Hadi Partovi emailed
We know this year has brought its challenges, but despite it all, people all around the world still made the time to bring computer science to children, who all deserve this opportunity now more than ever.
Code.org has, from the outset, been concerned about the gender gap in Computer Science and has pointed out that the looming skills gap – too few people to fill roles that require expertise in computer technology and computer programming – would be solved if there were as many women as men entering the sector. Year-on-year since Code.org was formed there have been indications that, given appropriate encouragement, young women are keen to study computer science as the basis of their future careers and that this is an accelerating trend.
In the UK the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service reported a 14% increase in the number of women accepted on to computer science-related courses in 2020.
On the Code.org blog, Partovi shared results reported by the College Board showing that the number of AP CS exams increased overall by 13% in 2020 and that most growth was among young women:
The College Board also noted that there was strong growth in the number of AP CS exams being taken by underrepresented groups:
Partovi highlighted the fact that:
Female students from underrepresented groups showed the largest increase in growth, with exams taken by that group increasing by over 18% from the previous year.
The blog post concludes on a cautionary note:
despite the progress, computer science in K-12 is quite far from balanced representation. We still have so far to go, but each year the new data shows that things are headed in the right direction.
Young women set records in computer science exams, again! (Code.org blog)
Hour of Code Aiming for a Billion Served in 2019
Code.org Five Years On
Computer Science Officially US STEM Subject
Obama Unveils Computer Science for All
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