Amid the debate about how to increase students’ interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), I found this bit in the Washington Post about why there are so few computer science majors.
I’ve summed up the four key points below, but you can read the full piece here.
- Many don’t realize the world-changing potential of computer science.
Popular culture and entertainment media make computer science can seem less exciting and relevant than the other sciences.
- Many high schools don’t know how to teach computer science.
Many find it hard to find qualified teachers, keep them up to date on the latest curriculum and pay for computers. Because of the uneven level of classes, computer science isn’t considered a core course when colleges determine student athletes’ eligibility. It’s also one of the least popular Advanced Placement tests.
- Introductory computer science classes can be boring.
Many professors are trying to make beginning classes interesting for a generation that’s used to the glitz of the internet — and still teach them the fundamentals.
- Computer science is still a new, young discipline.
Other sciences, such as biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, tend to overshadow it. And those who teach are still trying to improve the way they teach computational thinking.