Google.org announced a $150,000 grant to South Carolina 4-H during a coding event for local middle school students in Greenville, South Carolina, as part of a statewide effort to help expand access to computer science education in the state.
With the new funding from Google.org, 4-H will increase the reach of the CS Career Pathway program for students in the state by 20 percent, from 57,000 to around 70,000 students. As a result, young people across the state will now have expanded access to CS education through Clemson University Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and the e-learning platform CLOVER by 4-H.
Students at Berea Middle School participated in the event, during which they learned basic coding skills and heard remarks from U.S. Rep. William Timmons of Greenville about the importance of computer science education.
“South Carolina and the Upstate have seen a growing demand for computer science jobs, making it essential that we provide access and encouragement for K-12 students to pursue this important field,” said U.S. Rep. William Timmons of Greenville. “I am thrilled to see that Google has partnered with 4-H to provide greater access to computer science education in our state, setting these students up for growth and giving them the tools they need to succeed.”
According to the 2022 State of Computer Science Education from Code.org, 96 percent of South Carolina high school students attend a school that offers foundational computer science, yet only 26 percent of students are enrolled in a computer science course. In 2022, South Carolina averaged 6,349 open computing jobs each month, with an average salary of $77,383, yet the state had only 806 graduates in computer science in 2019.
“By creating opportunities for all young people regardless of circumstance, Clemson Extension and 4-H play a vital role in preparing today’s youth for the careers of tomorrow,” said Ashley Burns, 4-H Youth Development Program Team Director, Clemson University Cooperative Extension. “Google.org’s investment in the 4-H CS Pathway Program has greatly increased our capacity to deliver high-impact CS programming across the state, setting students on a trajectory to unlock their potential and thrive.”
In 2022, Google.org announced a $5 million grant to the National 4-H Council to extend CS education access to six million 4-H’ers across the country. In South Carolina, this new funding will help continue and expand previous work related to CS and computational thinking skills.
Google.org has supported 4-H to expand access to CS education since 2017.