CS4ALL - G is a collaboration project funded by NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund that builds upon the Auburn University (AU) and Southern Union State Community College (SUSCC)’s successful joint efforts in recruiting and retaining girls and special needs students in computing careers. The purpose of CS4LL-G is three-fold:
1. First, the project is designed to foster interest in CS among middle and high schools girls (including those with special needs) by providing an engaging and active programming development experience using CS Unplugged (CSU), CS For Fun (CS4FN), and Microsoft Kodu. CSU (http://csunplugged.org/) helps students recognize and learn underlying CS concepts through engaging games, puzzles and discussions. We already have several years of successful experience teaching CSU and Kodu to age 10 to 18 students in an inclusive environment. For the past seven years, Dr. Marghitu has directed the AU Robo Camp (http://www.eng.auburn.edu/outreach/k-12/robo-camp/index.html) K12 inclusive outreach program developed to reinforce computer literacy skills, while participating in hands-on applications of computer programming and robotics. Robo Camp students are assigned individual tasks and work together in teams to complete assignments. Carnegie Mellon University Alice Programming System, Microsoft Kodu programming environment, Lego Mindstorms NXT, and Lego Tetrix robots, Carnegie Mellon University RobotC, are few of the applications used to teach concepts of computer programming and robotics. Dr. Marghitu also offered several successful teacher development workshops.
2. Second purpose of CS4ALL - G is to provide a one-day teacher professional development workshop, for a total of 15 teachers across the Alabama. We will a) introduce the CS4ALL - G curriculum, b) disseminate the results of the two camps, and c) demonstrate how they can utilize CSU and Kodu in after-school and summer camps. Teachers will have opportunities to create Kodu games followed by discussions with faculty from AU on how they can also include CSU and Kodu modules in their class curriculum as another creative way to engage girls in CS.
3. The third purpose of the CS4ALL - G project is to organize a joint AU & CSSU workshop for faculty and administration representatives. We will a) present the outcomes of the CS4ALL - G camps and the teacher development workshop and b) facilitate the discussion on joint strategies for attracting girls in computing academic majors and careers and encouraging girls from community colleges to continue their studies at a four-year school.