June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Community Engagement Division
Research continues to show a consistent decline in the number of students entering the field of Computer Science (CS). Studies also indicate that an optimal time to promote interest in CS is during the middle school years. Yet, most CS courses are only offered as electives, which are not required for graduation. This makes fostering interest in CS at an early age even more challenging. However, some programs, such as the Alice Camps, have successfully encouraged interest in the subject for middle school students. Recently, we completed a community outreach program to provide CS classes for local Title I middle school students attending summer camp. The authors taught an hour-long CS classes to four groups of students. The purpose of the classes was to boost interest in CS by teaching students basic computer programming concepts. The students were also educated about careers that require this skill set and introduced to Processing programming language. We observed that the classes increased enthusiasm towards CS. In addition, we noticed that the group activity component of the classes encouraged sociability and idea synthesis among peers. This CS community outreach program motivated us to create a longer program to teach science concepts using Processing programming language to promote sociability, creativity, and empowerment in STEM for middle school students. Specifically, we plan to use Processing programming language to facilitate learning of science concepts, since such concepts can be difficult for students to visualize. This paper provides details on other researchers’ relevant work in this area, use of Processing programming language, and our plan for data collection and analysis.
Islam, S., & Shankar, R. T., & Minor, I., & Lapp, S. I., & Schoorman, D. (2017, June), Engagement in Practice: Outreach Program to Introduce Computer Science to Middle School Students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28236
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