Governor Mills Announces New Initiative to Bring Mobile Computer Science Labs to All Maine Schools

September 21, 2022

Quality education for students across the state in robotics, programming, coding and other key technologies

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

In July, Governor Mills signed a bipartisan national compact for computer science education along with governors from across the country. As part of the agreement, unveiled at the National Governors Association summer meeting in Portland, all 50 governors pledged to work to expand K-12 computer science education opportunities in their states.

“Our economy is increasingly dependent on workers with IT training. This initiative will ensure that students across our state are prepared to thrive in the careers of the future.” said Gov. Janet Mills. “My administration will continue to ensure that all students in Maine have the opportunity to gain digital skills.”

“Maine leads the nation in providing our schools across the state with equipment to ensure every student receives a meaningful computer science education with real-world applications,” said Pender Makin, commissioner of the Maine Department of Education. “These mobile computing labs will provide every student in Maine, across all grade levels and departments, with learning experiences that prepare them for future success.”

“This opportunity from the Mills administration and the Maine Department of Education is a game changer for Maine students. For the first time, all Maine children have equal access to quality computer science curriculum and tools in their schools. I’m incredibly happy to see that justice is at the heart of this new initiative and can’t wait to see what happens next.” said Sean Wasson, president of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) in Maine 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 $5,000 worth of computing equipment and is designed to integrate with any content area and skill level. In addition, the initiative will provide professional learning opportunities for educators, tailored to each computer science subject area.

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The Maine Department of Education is reaching out to Maine Superintendents with detailed information on how to secure mobile labs for schools in their district. For more information about each program area, visit the Maine Department of Education website.

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