ECEP will be represented through a panel and workshop during the 2015 Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing. The conference runs February 18-21, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Please see their website for more details. Below, a preview of ECEP’s contributions to the event. (Schedule will be posted when available from the conference.)
Panel: State-level Computing Education Reform for Diversity
This discussion will center around ECEP’s work creating state-by-state change in computing education. By broadening the opportunities available to students, these changes are intended to increase the diversity of students in computing. However, there is a great deal of variety in how change is made. Decisions on high school graduation requirements, for example, may be made top-down by state governments or may originate in communities. Nine states, meanwhile, maintain no graduation requirements. Each scenario requires different strategies and goals on the part of the changemakers.
This panel includes leaders from California, Massachusetts, and Georgia who are reforming computing education to improve diversity. Panelists will present approaches that have worked in each, as well as methods that have been less successful. While being mindful of the uniqueness of each state, panelists will discuss questions such as:
- Where do you target your interventions in the education pathway?
- How do you increase value for computer science?
- How do you sustain your intervention?
- How do you know it’s working?
Workshop: Arbotics with LEGO Mindstorms EV3
This workshop will expose educators to new ways to engage students in computer science and provide materials to aid them in integrating Artbotics into their classrooms. The Artbotics program uses principles of computer science, art, and robotics to create kinetic, interactive sculptures. The introductork workshop requires no prior experience with computer science, art, robotics, or LEGO Mindstorms. Participants will program a car to produce spirograph-like drawings and will learn the visual programming language used in the EV3 software by executing short exercises. The workshop will close with a short discussion of lessons learned and best practices, using examples from previous Artbotics programs for a variety of ages. Topics will include appropriate time frames, how to best use limited resources, appropriate levels of depth for each age group, and how to access Artbotics materials.