Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education Provide Ann Richards Middle School with Groundbreaking Program to Prepare Students for 21st Century Careers

Dallas selected as one of only ten early-adopting regions to receive the national STEM education program.
Nov 21, 2017 8:45 AM ET

Tata Consultancy Services, (TCS),  a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital education content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, officially launched Ignite My Future in School in Dallas at Ann Richards Middle School in Texas’ 5th congressional district. As early adopters of this system, Dallas teachers will receive professional development, educational resources and year-round support to integrate computational thinking into core subjects such as math, sciences, arts and social studies. In turn, students will learn foundational skills for 21st century careers – across industries – through this transdisciplinary approach.

“Teachers are at the forefront of preparing students for the challenges they face as they enter our workforce,” said U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in this video message. “Initiatives like [Ignite My Future in School] give them the tools to solidify our country’s standing as a leader in the STEM fields. I want to congratulate educators in the Texas region for being chosen for this innovative program, and I look forward to hearing about our shared successes as we work together to prepare the next generation of scholars.”

The Ann Richards Middle School will serve as a ‘lighthouse school,’ acting as the opening hub and eventual archetype for the regional initiative. Local teachers and parents will have the opportunity to apply computational thinking at a Day of Discovery and immersive instructional events. This district includes more than 2,100 teachers and 32,000 middle school students who could potentially benefit from the program.

Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science enrollment and attainment in the district are below the national average, while salaries for a career in computer science nearly doubles all professions in the region. Ignite My Future in School hopes to address the disparity by developing relevant skills for 21st century job opportunities, particularly the new digital economy, with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

“Nothing is more important than equipping our young people with the necessary skills to succeed. Computational thinking gives students the confidence and ability to solve society’s greatest challenges,” said Balaji Ganapathy, Head of Workforce Effectiveness, TCS. “I want to thank the administrators at the Ann Richards Middle School for being forbearers of this effort.”

On a National level, Ignite My Future in School has a goal of engaging 20,000 teachers and one million U.S. students by 2021. As a first step towards this goal, TCS and Discovery Education announced that 10 U.S. school systems across the country – with more than 6,700 teachers and 194,000 students – joined the effort as early adopters of this transdisciplinary approach in a five-year educator training and learning commitment to help empower middle school teachers.

These select schools will experience the unique opportunity to learn and apply computational thinking through an annual free day of professional development for educators and community night for parents. TCS and Discovery Education have also launched an online program, TECHademy, which will engage teachers nationwide in an exclusive, cost-free, virtual professional development experience that includes curriculum resources, eLearning courses, webinars, and more. These resources are aligned to national standards, as well as the recently launched K-12 Computer Science Framework.

Ignite My Future in School builds on TCS’ robust community initiatives that have inspired more than two million young people in STEM education and careers. TCS is a founding partner for two national mentoring initiatives in the United States, US2020 and Million Women Mentors. Its flagship student engagement program, TCS goIT, has engaged more than 12,000 middle and high school students across 56 cities in the United States and Canada with hands-on experiences in computer science, inspiring them towards tech careers in all sectors. Moreover, TCS is part of the CS for All Consortium and has national partnerships with NCWIT, NPower, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, CECP, National 4H Council, Boys Scouts of America, and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.