ACTC to pilot new computer science program

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The Anderson Career and Technology Center (ACTC) has been selected to pilot a new Project Lead The Way (PLTW) course in the 2013-2014 school year. Project Lead The Way, the nation’s leading non-profit provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum and professional development to middle and high schools,

The new course is called Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE) and will be part of the high school’s Pathway To Engineering program from PLTW. The course addresses an ever-growing need for students across all career paths to explore the new questions and tools opened up by massive data collection and processing.

The course also exposes students to the high-demand career paths within Computer Science and Information Technology. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 50% of the 2.8 million job openings in STEM through 2018 will be for computer specialists (PCAST Report to The President: Engage to Excel, 2012.)

ACTC is one of three schools in the Southeast chosen to pilot the new CSE course, and the only school in South Carolina. Bryan Bacher, the instructor selected to pilot the course at ACTC, is among 50 teachers nationwide participating in the pilot program. These 50 teachers will help instruct the professional development for the teachers who wish to implement the Computer Science and Software Engineering course when it becomes available for the full PLTW network in the 2014-15 school year. There are over 5,200 PLTW programs in more than 4,700 schools across the United States.

The Anderson Districts 1 & 2 Career and Technology Center’s engineering program will be adding Computer Science and Software Engineering to their current line-up of PLTW courses: Introduction to Engineering, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Biotechnical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architecture, and Aerospace Engineering. The engineering courses at ACTC offer students honors weight and the ability to earn college credit. The new course will give students the opportunity to explore computer science and software engineering as a possible college major and career. ACTC’s nationally recognized robotics program, ACTC Robotics, plans to benefit from the new CSE course as well, using it to foster new programmers, website authors, and animators for their robotics teams.