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HCPS STEM Leads Regional Partnership with

August 29, 2019 - Partners in Education

During the summer, more than 280 teachers attended five-day long, deep-dive Computer Science trainings. The hands-on trainings supplied participants with creative content that can be applied to any course. 

These trainings were all made possible due to the Tampa Bay STEM Network, led by Hillsborough County Public Schools, which serves as the regional partner for,   

The goal of the partnership is to establish a K-12 computer science hub for the region, offering professional learning opportunities for teachers and building a strong local community in support of digital literacy,” said Larry Plank HCPS Director K-12 STEM Education. Plank also serves as the Advisory Chair for the Tampa Bay STEM Network. 

Through the partnership, the Tampa Bay STEM Network serves teachers from all grade levels within seven counties: Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Manatee and Hernando. selected the Tampa Bay STEM Network as the regional partner for West Central Florida—awarding the Tampa Bay STEM Network a $250,000 grant to provide professional development to teachers. 

“As we are preparing our students for life, they need to graduate our high schools with a rich and robust knowledge and a skillset that allows them to solve problems and work in a tech field, said Plank. 

Computer Science is in Demand: 
  • 26 out of 27 high schools in Hillsborough County offer Computer Science courses—up from only 11 high schools two years ago.  
  • 30 middle schools now offer Computer Science courses—up from only 8 middle schools two years ago. is Focused on Equity and Diversity: is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. 

  • underrepresented minorities make up 48% of the students in courses 
  • females make up 46% of the students in courses 
  • 47% of the students n courses come from high needs schools organizes the annual “Hour of Code” campaign which has engaged 15% of all students in the world. The organization is supported by generous donors including Amazon, Facebook, Google, the Infosys Foundation and Microsoft. 

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