Douglas County Became First School District In Georgia To Establish “Computer Science For All,” Guaranteeing Students In All Grade Levels.

In 2016, Douglas County Became The First School District In Georgia To Establish “Computer Science For All,” Guaranteeing That Students In All Grade Levels receive instruction in computer science. The initiative was in collaboration with Google,, Georgia Tech, and the Georgia Department of Education.

With proximity to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Interstate 20, along with a favorable business climate, Douglas County has become a popular location for satellite offices and data centers for high tech companies, including Google, Switch and Amazon. As these companies partner with the Douglas County School System, they improve the quality of computer science and related STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses and make them more relevant for students.

Google has provided resources that enrich the STEM experience, including donating time and expertise as a member of the school system’s STEM Advisory Board. Google’s sponsorship of coding clubs, robotics teams, and the statewide Georgia Gravity Games further enhances the STEM experience for students in Douglas County. A $100,000 grant from Google to assist with student technology helped the district meet its goal of one-to-one technology. All students in the Douglas County School System are issued an electronic learning device and utilize Google Classroom for learning.

Computer science instruction starts with our youngest students. We introduce kindergartners to computer science through robots. Even at this age, students can begin to understand coding with engaging activities. By 5th grade, students bring empathy along with their computer science and engineering skills to solve real-world challenges.

Elementary students at one school used a 3D printer to build a prosthetic hand capable of grasping objects for a teacher at their school who was missing part of an arm and another teacher who was missing fingers. They used the same skills to program and convert inexpensive riding toys to powered mobility devices for children with disabilities, allowing the children to independently control where they go for the first time.

At the middle school level, students write webpages using HTML and learn web and app design using Javascript. At the high school level, students may choose among six information technology pathways, with the opportunity to earn industry certifications prior to high school graduation. To meet the demand of the fastest-growing area in the technology industry, the cybersecurity pathway was established in 2019 in partnership with Augusta State University and Virginia Tech.

When the Douglas County Economic Development Authority and local banks identified the need for employees with skills in digital financial transactions, the Douglas County School System made a plan to bring the financial technology pathway to the district beginning in August 2021. The new pathway will be in partnership with Georgia Highlands College and Middle Georgia State University.

Our goal is to provide graduates with skills to meet the needs of businesses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that the demand for jobs in the cybersecurity industry will grow by 30% over the next 10 years, with a median salary around $100,000 per year. Students who graduate from high school with credentials in the new financial technology pathway will find plenty of opportunity in Atlanta, the payments processing capital of the world. Over 70% percent of all payment transactions go through Georgia.

An emphasis on computer science at all grade levels allows our students to align their skills with the needs of the local, state, national, and international business community. With the growth of technology and data centers in Douglas County, our graduates can find a meaningful, lucrative career close to home.

Whether they choose to stay in Douglas County or move out of state, high school and college graduates with training in computer science will continue to be in demand. Our ongoing partnerships with technology companies and universities ensure that our students graduate from high school with relevant skills and certifications, whether they choose to enter the work force immediately after high school or continue their education at the university level.

This news was originally published at Biz Journals.