September 21, 2022

High-quality education available to students across the state in robotics, programming, coding, and other key technologies

Governor Janet Mills today announced the launch of a new Maine Department of Education (DOE) initiative that will provide every public school in Maine with a free mobile computer lab. The effort, funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, will provide all Maine students with access to high-quality learning experiences that provide real-word training in robotics , programming, augmented and virtual reality, coding and hardware.

In July, Governor Mills joined governors across the country in signing a bipartisan national compact on computer science education. As part of the agreement unveiled at the National Governors Association’s summer meeting in Portland, the 50 governors pledged to work to expand K-12 computer science education options in their states.

“Our economy is increasingly dependent on computer-trained workers. This initiative will ensure that students in our state are prepared to succeed in the jobs of the future,” said Governor Janet Mills. “My administration will continue to ensure that all students in Maine have the opportunity to learn digital literacy skills.”

“Maine is leading the nation in providing equipment to our schools across the state to ensure that every student receives meaningful computer education with real-world applications,” said Pender Makin, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education. “These mobile computer labs will provide every student in Maine, at every grade level and in every subject, with learning experiences that will prepare them for future success.”

“This opportunity offered by the Mills administration and the Maine Department of Education is a game-changer for Maine students. For the first time, all Maine children will have equal access to a curriculum and computer tools for high quality in their schools. I am incredibly happy to see that equity is the centerpiece of this new initiative and I look forward to seeing what happens next,” said Sean Wasson, president of the Maine Chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and an 8th grade computer science teacher.

Schools will soon be able to order one of three mobile lab options: robotics and programming, augmented and virtual reality, and coding and hardware. Each lab contains hardware worth $5,000 and is designed to be integrated into any content area and skill level. Additionally, the initiative will provide educators with professional learning opportunities tailored to each area of ​​computing.

The Maine Department of Education is contacting Maine superintendents with detailed information on how to secure mobile labs for schools in their district. More information about each program area can be found on the Maine Department of Education website.