Sansing Foundation announces computer science education grant of $100,000 for two years

Sandy Sansing announced on Dec. 11, 2015 the Sansing Foundation is giving $100,000 to the Escambia County School District to increase Computer Science instruction in classes in all grade levels over the next two calendar years.

“As a business owner,” explained Sansing, “I am keenly aware of the importance of technology in the success of my employees and business. Every local student should have a chance to learn about computer science and technology. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st century career.”

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas added, “Mr. Sandy Sansing has been a longtime friend of the Escambia County School District.  His desire to see our children and our community prosper, by partnering with us to increase educational experiences for our students and teachers, is evidenced today.”

The first $50,000 of the grant funds will allow the District to do the following in 2016:

Provide all elementary schools with materials to support participation in Science Olympiad, with EV3 Mindstorm core sets, and LabView Programming Software.

Send seven district instructors to the Computer Science Teachers’ Association Conference next July.

Provide the Robotics Academy at Pine Forest High School with Arduinos Microcontroller kits (kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control objects in the physical world).

Bring AP Computer Science courses in selected high schools by training teachers for implementation during the next school year.

Cover the cost for web development training for teachers from Tate, Washington, Pensacola, West Florida and Pine Forest High Schools to obtain certification this summer to teach HTML next year.

And, cover the cost for web development training for teachers from Tate, Washington, Pensacola, West Florida and Pine Forest High Schools to obtain certification this summer to teach OCA: Java Script Programmer next year.

A second $50,000 grant donation will allow the district to build on these programs in 2017. The grant will be managed by the ECSD Workforce Education Department.

“Our Workforce instructors use their own training and technical certifications to prepare students to attain their computer science certifications,” explained Dr. Michelle Taylor, ECSD’s Director of Workforce Education. “We know that certifications help our graduates obtain employment, begin careers, and advance their education. The Sansing Foundation has been a catalyst for our district to take a big step forward in preparing students for STEM jobs in computer technology beginning at the elementary level and through increased rigor and opportunity at the high school level.”

The Workforce Education Department partners with many business leaders in Pensacola, like Mr. Sansing and his team.

“The district encourages these partnerships because local employers know the importance of exposing students to computational thinking and providing students with foundational information technology skills in order to supply our community with future workers,” added Taylor. “This donation will be used to engage students in computer science activities and to train our teachers to teach our students to prepare them for careers of the future,” added Thomas.  “Mr. Sansing understands the business world and he is well aware of the need for a workforce that is prepared and is ready to be successful.”