A 2019 State of Computer Science Education Report has identified the Indiana Department of Education as a national leader in computer science education.

Indiana was among only three states in the report to significantly increase computer science education funding during the previous school year and among only five states to implement all nine computer science education policies recommended by Code.org’s Advocacy Coalition.

Code.Org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance released the report earlier this month.

“Increasing opportunities for students to further their education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is central to the department’s mission, as well as that of Indiana’s educators, schools, and partners,” Jennifer McCormick, state superintendent, said in a statement.

“This new report praises the good work Indiana has accomplished and the well-rounded and robust instruction our students continue to receive,” she said.

“This work could not be done without the commitment of our students, school administrators, and classroom teachers. I wish to thank them for their dedication in preparing students for future success.”

Indiana improved teacher certifications and developed a comprehensive plan aligning existing K-8 computer science standards with high school standards, the statement said.

It also allocated $3 million annually for the professional development of computer science teachers and trained more than 1,000 of them.

During the last school year, 62% of Indiana high schools taught at least one computer science course, which was up from 51% during the previous school year.

Hill investigating Google for antitrust issues

The business practices of tech giant Google have come under the scrutiny of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, who announced a multi-state investigation of the company earlier this month in accordance with federal and state antitrust laws.

“Just like individual citizens, corporations must be held accountable for following the law,” he said in a statement. “In this instance, we must recognize that stifling free and fair competition is an activity that causes real harm to real people.”

A bipartisan coalition will investigate the company’s control of search traffic and online advertising markets, which he said may have involved anticompetitive behavior.

Legal experts from every state involved in the investigation will work with federal authorities to evaluate competitive conditions for online services and make sure Americans have access to free and open digital markets, he said.

“If Google has gained its advantages in the marketplace through free and fair competition, then let the chips fall where they will,” Hill said. “If, however, the facts uncovered in this investigation lead us to other conclusions, then we must pursue appropriate follow-up actions to protect the free market.”

The European Commission has brought three antitrust actions against Google.

Trine gets Design Build Fly grant to compete in April

The Indiana Space Grant Consortium has awarded Trine University a $3,000 grant to support its participation in the yearly American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Design Build Fly competition.

The grant will help cover building materials for a drone aircraft as well as travel expenses to the 2020 Design Build Fly competition in Wichita, Kansas, next April.

Students participating in the contest have a chance to validate their analytic studies through a real-world aircraft design experience, the university said in a statement.

Teams of students design and construct an electric-powered, radio-controlled unmanned aircraft according to a specified mission profile and then demonstrate its flight capabilities.

“The goal is a balanced design that demonstrates good flight handling while using practical, affordable manufacturing requirements,” the statement said.

The consortium works to inspire public interest in aerospace-related disciplines and Trine is among 26 Indiana groups affiliated with it.

FortCON is scheduled for Sept. 27-29 at Grand Wayne

The FortCON 2019 computer gaming convention has been scheduled for Sept. 27-29 at Grand Wayne Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd. in Fort Wayne.

With more than 350 seats available around-the-clock, FortLAN describes the annual regional event as Indiana’s largest bring-your-own-computer LAN party and convention.

PC tournaments there will include PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Rocket League and Overwatch. Console tournaments there will include Super Smash Brothers Melee and Super Smash Brothers Smash Ultimate.

Standard seats with 36 inches of space are available for $60 and VIP seats with 48 inches of space are available for $80. The event starts at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 and ends at 3 p.m. Sept. 29. For more information on it, go to https://www.lanreg.org/fortlan/fortcon2019.

Engineers to tour city Fire Station 1

Members of the Fort Wayne Engineers’ Club will learn about firefighting technology during its September tour at the main station of the Fort Wayne Fire Department.

The group’s tour of Fire Station 1 in downtown Fort Wayne has been scheduled for 3:30-4:30 p.m. Sept. 26.

Station 1 is the home of Truck 1, with its 100-foot aerial ladder, and Engine 1, which carries 1,000 gallons of water and can pump 1,250 gallons of water per minute. The station also has a scuba truck and raft and a hazardous material response trailer.

Veteran reporter Doug LeDuc joined Business Weekly in 2006 and primarily covers banking and finance and technology. You can send information for his weekly column to dleduc@kpcmedia.com or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3309.

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