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Expanding Literacy’s Boundaries in K-12 with Cloud Literacy (Work in Progress)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Elodie Billionniere Miami Dade College Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Elodie Billionniere is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering and Technology at Miami Dade College (MDC). She has helped MDC secure over $3 million in federal funding the past three years for STEM and emerging technology education programs as well as a collaborative high tech learning hub, Cloud Computing Center, with the aim of providing further opportunities to minoritized populations to meet workforce needs. With industry partners, she has been instrumental in the creation of new educational pathways in Enterprise Cloud Computing, which are unique in the state of Florida. She is the Lead Faculty for these programs. She holds several industry certifications, including PMP, ScrumMaster, AWS Certified Solutions Architect, and AWS Certified Big Data. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Arizona State University.

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Lawrence Eric Meyer Jr. Miami Dade College Orcid 16x16

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Mr. Lawrence Eric Meyer is an Associate Professor Senior in thte School of Engineering and Technology at Miami Dade College (MDC). He has been working as the Co-PI on the Dade Enterprise Cloud Computing Initiative (DECCI) cloud grant providing cloud educational opportunities to high school and minority underserved populations. He assisted in the creation of MDC’s current cloud curriculum and has been awarded a $600,000 ATE NSF grant to create an advanced cloud degree program for upskilling and reskilling the regional workforce. Holding AWS Solutions Architect and Developer certifications, along with Azure and Google cloud he is leading the effort into multi-cloud implementations for education in DevOps and Data Analytics.

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The migration of infrastructure from on premise installation and maintenance of computing resources to cloud based systems by business of all sizes has been an ongoing event for several years. To minimize capital expenses and allow for demand based operational expenses has increased the need for cloud practitioners with the ability to create and control these resources. The demand for skilled cloud workers ranging from developers to architects has been increasing, and one way to increase the technicians available for these job skills is to start recruitment as early as high school. For high school students interested in the technical side of STEM pathways, the ability to understand, design and work in a cloud environment is now part of critical technical skills. Fluency in cloud and cloud environments, the ability to understand the capabilities of all these modern technologies are necessary technical skills.

To support this growing demand of cloud skills, the institution partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the industry leader in cloud computing solutions, to train high school students as early cloud adopters and to be well-prepared for the computing/IT workforce of tomorrow. This academic-industry partnership aims to raise cloud literacy in K-12 by offering a two-week cloud computing bootcamp for high school students selected from traditionally underrepresented groups, Hispanic and/or African Americans. The bootcamp used a combination of team teaching, online sandbox repetition and experimentation, and project-based practice. The AWS materials provided by AWS Academy covered the details of the AWS infrastructure and were coupled with AWS Educate classroom sandboxes for practice. The two-week intensive practice and review certified 21 out of 31 high school students in the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification. This was the first time AWS Academy authorized high school students to take the certification exam and currently the largest cohort of high school students as AWS Cloud Practitioners.

This paper presents the details of the pilot implementation of the summer bootcamp part of the cloud literacy initiative. This pilot includes curriculum, pedagogy, and software tools. Surveys were administered to the students to collect their demographic information, assessments of the pedagogical approaches and interest in cloud computing. Also, pre- and post-exam scores were reported to analyze student performance outcomes. These results are presented to show the potential of such an outreach program to build capacity and broaden participation in the computing field through emerging technology.

Billionniere, E., & Meyer, L. E. (2021, July), Expanding Literacy’s Boundaries in K-12 with Cloud Literacy (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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