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I-3 Experience: Expanding Research and Design Opportunities for Under-represented High School Students

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Robots and K-12 Computer Applications

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.677.1 - 23.677.16



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Paper Authors


Christina Gardner-McCune Human Centered Computing Clemson University

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Dr. Christina Gardner-McCune is an assistant professor in the School of Computing, Human-Centered Computing Division at Clemson University. Her research focuses on gaining a better understand of how students learn and apply STEM and computing content in their everyday lives. She is particularly interested in the iterative design, refinement, and sustainability of curriculum and program development to support computing and STEM learning in formal and informal learning environments.
She has designed and piloted a mobile application course for undergraduate non-CS majors through her participation last summer in the national pilot of the new AP CS Principles course. She is currently designing mobile application curriculum with MIT AP Inventor for 8th grade mathematics classes and middle and high school social studies classes.
Dr. Gardner-McCune recently completed a year and a half long postdoctoral research position in computer science education at Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Computing where she led the design of the I-3 Experience programs. She holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University, and earned both her master's and doctorate in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also a board member of Y-STEM (Youth Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics organization), a non-profit foundation focused on enhancing the quality and accessibility of formal and informal STEM learning opportunities to African American and disadvantaged youth.

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Darrryl Bryant DUPE McCune II YES Beyond Limits

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Darryl B. McCune II is a certified IT specialist through Georgia’s Metropolitan Regional Education Service Agency. For the past two years he has been developing computer science curriculum in collaboration with the office of Outreach, Enrollment, and Community of Georgia Tech. His work has focused on exposing students to computer science through kinesthetic learning and physical computing. He is also certified to teach high school mathematics. In August 2011, McCune’s teaching portfolio was selected to be a model by which nontraditional teachers would be trained to develop their own curriculum plans in route to certification at Metro RESA. In April 2012, McCune was awarded an Outstanding Staff Performance Award. Outside of developing curriculum and programming for high school students, during the summer months McCune expands his audience to reach middle and elementary age students with summer camp topics that address topics such as adventures in animation, storytelling, animatronics, programming in java, game design and arduino development.

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Chanteal Maria Edwards


Cedric Stallworth Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Computing

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Cedric Stallworth’s 20 year career as an educator has centered on helping students and their parents make successful transitions from high school to college and from college to the work place. He has developed and run bridge programs that give students and parents practice at the college experience. He has run mentoring programs that contribute to the academic and personal development of students and provide parents with supportive feedback. He is in constant contact with high school and undergraduate students, providing them with encouragement, advice and a sympathetic ear. He considers himself to be a practitioner and has brought that mindset to his role as assistant dean in the College. He has defined the mission of his office to be the creation of a sustainable pipeline of computing talent that begins in elementary school and continues through alumni. In support of that mission he identifies, coordinates and manages resources and personnel that benefit students, their families and the College. He maintains his relevance to the students with a presence in the classroom by teaching introductory computing courses, student enrichment course as well as after school and summer computing workshops. He broadens his impact by sharing his experiences and insights with colleagues as a part of national efforts to increase the numbers of women and minorities in computing.
Stallworth earned an M.S. in Computer in 1999 and a B.E.E. in Electrical Engineering in 1990 both from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 2008 as an assistant dean of Outreach, Enrollment and Community. Prior to that he was and instructor and a research scientist in the College of Computing.

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I-3 Experience: Expanding Research and Design Opportunities for Under- represented High School StudentsAbstractThis paper will describe a novel approach to engaging under-represented high school students inresearch and design opportunities at a public university. The I-3 (pronounced “I three”)Experience programs aim to engage 9th-12th grade African American, Latino, and femalestudents in research and prototyping activities to increase and sustain their interest in computerscience. Since Spring 2011, 60 students have enrolled in the I-3 Experience programs. Ourprogram has specifically targeted female and underrepresented students (African American andLatino/as): 93% of program participants are female and underrepresented students; 61% of ourstudents participated in free and reduced lunch programs. The program has a 90% retention rate.The I-3 Experience is a series of computing after-school and summer-enrichment programsdesigned for students who are interested in exploring computing but lack courses at their schoolor have completed all the cs courses and desire to expand their computing skills. The I-3Experience consists of three program phases: Imagine, Investigate, and Innovate. Each of theseprogram phases engages students in computational thinking and provides opportunities andresources for them to bring their ideas to life through the design of new applications and devices.The I-3 Experience began with the Imagine program, which focused on inspiring students to seecomputing in the world around them. Students were introduced to various aspects of computingand computational thinking through round table discussions of current computing trends andapplications, as well as interactive activities that demonstrated how computers work and processinformation. Using the knowledge students gained from this exposure they developed projectproposals for new applications or devices that interest them.The second phase of the I-3 Experience was the Investigate program. The students wereintroduced to App Inventor and Arduino IDEs through a series of condensed tutorials known asCrash Courses. This phase equipped students with a computational toolkit through engagementin skill building and artifact refinement and development.In the Innovate phase, students focused on the creation of innovative devices and applicationprototypes in a research lab environment. The artifacts students developed were entered intocompetitions and project showcases at the K-12 and collegiate level.Our goal in designing this program was to build on the success of existing K-12 summer campoutreach programs offered by our university by offering students an opportunity to pursue theirinterest in CS through a constructionist and project-based curriculum. As we move the studentsfrom exposure to personalization of the technology they develop; we hope to increase thenumber of students desirous of enrolling in college as computer science majors. Our overarchinggoal is to increase the likelihood of students who apply to computer science undergraduatedegree programs. This paper will discuss the program, strategies for program success, andenrollment and participation outcomes of this year long program.

Gardner-McCune, C., & DUPE McCune, D. B., & Edwards, C. M., & Stallworth, C. (2013, June), I-3 Experience: Expanding Research and Design Opportunities for Under-represented High School Students Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19691

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