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Engagement in Practice:CodeIT Day - Creating a One Day Experience to Increase Diversity Among Youth Interested in STEM

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Designing Opportunities for Youth Engagement in STEM

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

7

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32717

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32717

Download Count

108

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Paper Authors

biography

Simone A. Smarr University of Florida

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Simone Smarr is a doctoral student in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering at the University of Florida. Through her involvement in the Human Experience Research lab, Simone has pursued topics including CS education, learning technology and culturally relevant computing. Using these topics she hopes to bridge computing, culture and education through learning technologies. Simone is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science.

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Tiffanie R. Smith University of Florida

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Tiffanie R. Smith is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Florida studying Human Centered Computing in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering. She received her B.S. in Computer Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in 2013. Her research interests include educational technologies, culturally relevant education, and broadening minority participation in STEM.

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Juan E. Gilbert University of Florida

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Juan E. Gilbert is the Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor & Chairman of the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida where he leads the Human-Experience Research Lab.

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Abstract

As “computer science” and “programming” continue to blossom as buzzwords in the media, positive early exposure is important so students view technology as an option to explore in high school and beyond. CodeIT Day began as a day-long programming experience for 5th and 6th-grade students, led by a diverse group of graduate students. The goals are to 1) enlarge the pipeline of middle school kids interested in STEM by increasing their exposure to STEM and students in the field and 2) Introduce middle school students to computer science concepts. During CodeIT Day, a paired programming approach is utilized along with a hands-on learning experience that leads to students creating their own project to present at the end of the day. The technology used is chosen based on the ability for students to have creative freedom and create something that is interesting to them. This paper will focus on the most recent CodeIT Day, in which Kano computing kits were used. In order to better evaluate the experience, students were given a STEM attitudes pre and post survey and then participated in focus groups at the end of the day. Some of the main lessons learned from this event were the need to control for teaching styles, need for more extensive applications to ensure the target population is being reached and that having students work towards something to present was beneficial. CodeIT Day has now become a branch of a larger community engagement program called CASE (Computing and Society Engagement) and in the future, there are plans to expand CodeIT Day to other cities within Florida. This new partnership enhances CodeIT Days potential to make a positive impact on the pipeline and stand in the gap for students who may not have the programming experience of some of their peers.

Smarr, S. A., & Smith, T. R., & Gilbert, J. E. (2019, June), Engagement in Practice:CodeIT Day - Creating a One Day Experience to Increase Diversity Among Youth Interested in STEM Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32717

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