Project Profile

Developing and Testing Innovations: Computer Science Through Engineering Design in New York


This Developing and Testing Innovations project aims to serve the national interest by broadening capacity and participation in secondary school Computer Science (CS) education across New York State. There is presently a severe shortage of CS teachers that will be exacerbated as more schools embrace CS education. To help mitigate the teacher shortage, this project will implement a model to prepare middle school and high school Technology and Engineering (T&E) teachers in diverse New York State communities to teach CS courses. The implementation model is transferable nationally and this population of teachers can add significantly to the CS delivery system. Four complementary and unifying project components comprise a systems approach to broadening CS education capacity and participation. They are: component 1, implementing a statewide secondary school engineering design-based CS curricular continuum for T&E education with an aligned teacher professional development (PD) program; component 2, recruiting, engaging, and retaining diverse students by situating learning in the context of authentic, culturally relevant engineering design challenges; component 3, establishing a pathway to dual T&E/CS state certification for teachers; and component 4, fostering family engagement in CS education. The curriculum and PD programs integrate culturally relevant pedagogy to address barriers to broadening participation and persistence in STEM. The dual certification and family engagement in CS components are unique and innovative elements that can be adopted by myriad STEM preservice and school-based programs. The prototypical model is situated in twelve middle and high school classrooms in rural, suburban, and urban school districts which reflect New York State’s diverse population.

The project team will collect qualitative and quantitative data from 12 T&E teachers and approximately 300 students through participant interviews, surveys of teachers and curriculum developers, observations, PD institute feedback, results of pilot testing the curriculum including student performance data, student surveys, and teacher and family member reflections. Using mixed methods, the team will empirically and descriptively investigate how the various components synergistically serve as direct or mediator variables for target outcomes. Deliverables include a secondary school continuum of instruction using authentic engineering design challenges that integrate T&E and CS standards; PD materials to train educators to deliver the integrated content effectively; assessments to measure student learning outcomes and teacher growth; a certification pathway to dual T&E and CS state certification for teachers and accompanying training materials; resources to empower families to support their children’s CS learning; and research findings and insights from ongoing program evaluations and assessments. Expanding the CS delivery system through T&E in New York is a model for how T&E teachers nationwide can broaden CS participation. This project is positioned to contribute valuable knowledge, resources, and models that have the potential to shape the landscape of CS education, teacher preparation, and family engagement at both state and national levels. This project is funded by the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, which supports projects that build understandings of practices, program elements, contexts and processes contributing to increasing students' knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communication technology (ICT) careers.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.


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Award Number
Project Duration
2024 - 2028
Hofstra University
Project Status