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The Department of Energy (DOE) employs some of the most innovative and talented people within the federal government, and one of my highest priorities as Secretary is to ensure they have what they need to fulfill their missions … today and tomorrow.

That’s especially true in cyber. And that’s why I’m so pleased we are joining in the annual celebration of Computer Science Education Week this week, December 9th to 15th.

Computer Science Education Week is aimed at inspiring students to discover computer science activities and careers, and our National Laboratories will be holding a number of activities to highlight DOE’s efforts, including increasing access to computer science education, building computational literacy, and growing the cyber workforce of the future.

These efforts are important, because our Department – and our country – needs those talents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow by 12 percent to 2028, much faster than many other occupations. And the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimated that this year, the U.S. faced a shortfall of more than 300,000 cybersecurity professionals, a number nearly certain to grow in the future.

Last year’s White House report, “America’s Strategy for STEM Education,” noted that, “Computer science education for all remains a national priority.” And so at DOE, we’re fully committed to addressing these gaps and shortages of cyber-skilled talent, as well as inspiring the next generation to study computer science through a variety of efforts, ranging from hosting the National CyberForce Competition™ to supporting Computer Science Education Week.

More information about how DOE’s National Laboratories are celebrating Computer Science Education Week can be found below, and additional information about our ongoing computer science education events can be found on the STEM Rising website HERE.

So please join us in celebrating Computer Science Education Week … and even more importantly, in building the cyber workforce of our future.    

OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY (ORNL):

During Computer Science Education Week, ORNL will be sending computational scientists to local K-12 schools to talk about supercomputing at ORNL and what they do in their jobs at the Lab. Then they assist teachers with Hour of Code activities.

SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES (SNL):

Sandia National Laboratories will be supporting a new local effort to encourage New Mexico students to participate in an international microbit challenge called Do Your Bit. Sandia National Laboratories will support Do Your Bit New Mexico events that week, sharing microbit kits with classrooms along with handwritten notes of encouragement to teachers.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LABORATORY (PNNL):

On December 7, two PNNL STEM Ambassadors participated in the University of Washington Computing Open House at the Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering. Over 500 students and family members attended and learned about machine learning and computer science activities from PNNL.

LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY (LLNL):

Each year Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory hosts a number of workshops, hackathons and cyber challenges to teach coding and cyber security – from high school to the college level. LLNL also offers a number of internships at the undergraduate and graduate level to provide hands on experience in high performance computing.

OAK RIDGE INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND EDUCATION (ORISE):

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is running a teacher competition on Facebook during the week of December 9-15. Teachers can share a photo of how they promote computer science in the classroom, and three random winners will receive an Oculus Go VR headset and a Sphero 2.0 robot for their classroom.

IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY (INL):

INL has launched a new coding coalition to support local schools in forming extracurricular computer science clubs. Educators who recruit at least six female students to participate in a national cybersecurity competition like Girls Go CyberStart will be eligible for a grant to support their efforts and will be paired with an employee ambassador who will share their cyber knowledge with the club.

ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY (ANL):

Argonne National Laboratory is celebrating National Hour of Code Week by sending over 50 computer science experts to regional schools to support students learning how to code and showcasing the breath of STEM careers in computer science (CS). In previous years, over 4,000 students connected with an Argonne, University of Chicago or a Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory STEM professional during Hour of Code Week. 

Argonne National Laboratory will be hosting 170 Chicago Public School students from Kenwood Academy High School at the Argonne National Laboratory – Chicago campus for a Computer Science for All event called Coding and Beyond! This event will teach students the principles of artificial intelligence by providing students the opportunity to ‘train a computer’. Students will get to explore a plethora of computer science careers through an interactive meet and greet with Argonne STEM professionals. 

LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY (LANL):

The Laboratory is coordinating efforts across Northern New Mexico for Computer Science Education Week, and sending staff to approximately 38 classrooms for computer science and coding activities.

BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY (BNL):

During Computer Science Education Week, a BNL representative will be working with approximately 100 students from four school districts, spanning across Long Island to upstate New York, to use BNL’s scientific computing curriculum.

NATIONAL ENERGY TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY (NETL):

To advance computer literacy, last month NETL and the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh hosted the K-8 STEM Teacher Workshop, a two-day event that brought together teachers from southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia to develop interactive STEM-based activities for their classrooms.