Computing with a Community Focus: Outcomes from an App Inventor Summer Camp for Middle School Students
This paper describes the design and evaluation of a one-week App Inventor summer camp for middle school students with an explicit focus on addressing local community needs. The community focus of the camp was designed to appeal to a broad range of students. We conducted an in-depth interview study to examine its impact on students' attitudes and perceptions, and supplemented this with results from project evaluation. Our results indicate that students had positive experiences in learning and creating real apps for solving community problems. Focusing on local community needs can also help to motivate students' interest in creating apps and in learning more about computer science. Students became more confident in creating apps as well as in using apps to solve community problems, and the camp was successful in welcoming a diverse set of students into computing.
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