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Fun, Innovative Computer Science Activities for the Classroom and Outreach

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Curricular Issues in Computing and Information Technology Programs I

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Stephany Coffman-Wolph West Virginia University Institute of Technology

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Dr. Stephany Coffman-Wolph is an Assistant Professor in the department of Computer Science and Information Systems at West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech). Stephany is actively involved in community outreach with a goal of increasing the number of women in STEM and creating effective methods for introducing young children to CS concepts and topics. She is a founding member and co-Adviser of AWESOME (Association for Women Engineers, Scientists, Or Mathematician Empowerment) a student organization at WVU Tech. Her other research interests include: Artificial Intelligence, Fuzzy Logic, and Software Engineering.

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Teaching a freshman-level introductory course in computer programming can be challenging. Although most college students are familiar with computer science, they seem to be unaware of what being a computer scientist means. These activities help them understand the depth and diversity a computer science undergraduate degree can entail. All the activities outlined below do not require a computer lab, are extremely cost-effective, and require minimum preparation. Additionally, the activities are easy to do with a variety of age groups and various number of students and are specifically designed not to require students to have any prior computer experience. The main goal is to introduce various computer science topics using fun physical activities and everyday experiences that are familiar. The paper will provide the instructions for each of the activities and the learning objectives. The activities included are: (1) Loops with Music, (2) Network Topology and Problem Solving, (3) Linked List with Yarn and Paper Bags, (4) Sorting Algorithms with Paper Bags, and (5) Recursion Introduction: Simple Tower of Hanoi with Colored Paper.

Coffman-Wolph, S. (2017, June), Fun, Innovative Computer Science Activities for the Classroom and Outreach Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28394

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