Project Profile

Scaling up an Innovative Approach for Attracting Students to Computing

Description

US college and universities are experiencing a dramatic decline in enrollment of computing majors, despite a predicted, rapid increase in future jobs in the computer science (CS) and information technology (IT) sectors. This reflects a decline in the number of students taking the AP computer science exam. To address this issue, this project will build statewide networks of college, middle school, and high school faculty who will offer workshops and provide continuing support during the academic year. The networks will be set up in three different states (North Carolina, South Carolina, and California). College and university faculty will work directly with middle school and high school teachers in teaching and learning innovative and effective ways of introducing computing and computer programming, and in incorporating computational thinking into other disciplines. This project scales up a previous, successful collaborative project for students and teachers using the Alice 3D programming environment. The approach focuses on a strong core of fundamental programming concepts and problem-solving techniques in an object-oriented, interactive environment. The project's external evaluation will include the collection of qualitative and quantitative data on teacher instruction and students' enrollment and performance. The project will train approximately 265 teachers directly, and provide support for master teachers to provide subsequent training for other teachers in their home districts. This project has the potential to increase the amount and effectiveness of instruction in object-oriented programming concepts and problem-solving to a large number of middle school and high school students. By training middle school and high school teachers in the proposed approach, and by providing support networks and building community, the project should be able to impact students throughout three states. Developed curricular materials will be stored in an online, searchable database to be freely available to all teachers. In making computing, computer science, programming, and computational thinking more attractive to middle school and high school students, the project team expects to encourage more students to major in STEM, and particularly computing, at the college level.

WEBSITES

Social Media

PROJECT MEMBERS

Principal Investigator(s)
Evaluator(s)
Primary Contact

PROJECT DETAILS

Award Number
1031356; 1031351; 1031029
Project Duration
2011 - 2018
Category
Scale-Up
Organization(s)
College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
Duke University, Durham, NC
Columbia College, Columbia, SC
Project Work State
CA
NC
SC
Target Gradespan(s)
Middle school (6-8)
High school (9-12)
Project Setting(s)
Formal Education
Informal Education
Geographic Location(s)
Rural
Suburban
Urban
Project Status
Expired
Additional Disciplines
Computer Science - programming
Additional Target Participants
Educators
Students
Boys
Girls