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Reps. Drew Hansen, Chad Magendanz address Governor’s STEM Education Innovation Alliance

IMG_4862Today, State Representatives Drew Hansen (D – Bainbridge Island) and Chad Magendanz (R – Issaquah) addressed the Governor’s STEM Education Innovation Alliance, which includes UW CSE’s Ed Lazowska among it’s ~20 members.

Reps. Hansen and Magendanz have spent two years gaining a deep understanding of STEM in our state, and forging a bipartisan alliance to address key gaps. Among their findings:

  • Knowledge of Computer Science and “computational thinking” is a key capability for all citizens in this century. Access to Computer Science must be expanded in K-12; professional development for teachers is a key component of this.  HB/SB 1813, which they have co-sponsored, addresses this.
  • Focusing on higher ed, by far the largest workforce gap in our state is in computer science – the only other “field” with any significant gap between “jobs available” and “degrees granted” is all of Engineering lumped together (Electrical, Mechanical, Aerospace, Civil, Chemical, Materials, …), and the gap in Computer Science is 2.5X the gap in Engineering. Within Computer Science, UW CSE, Washington State University EECS, and Western Washington University CS are the only programs in the state that feed significant numbers of students to leadership companies. Reps. Hansen and Magendanz will be advocating a targeted investment to grow these programs.

Thank you, Reps. Hansen and Magendanz, for being smart, hard-working, focused, bipartisan, and data-driven!

March 6, 2015