CT, IN, and TX Awarded Mini-Grants

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    Three states received funding from the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance (ECEP) to work toward bringing computer science (CS) education to underrepresented students through statewide activities. Mini-grants are a benefit for ECEP member states and provide resources for leaders to work toward systemic reforms in CS education.

    ECEP members in Connecticut will use the funding to measure the current landscape of CS education, focusing at the K-12 level, to understand who teaches CS, what is taught, which students take it, and when and where it is taught in Connecticut. By working with dedicated researchers and data collectors, this project will produce baseline and benchmark data that can guide policy and form a basis for further action and research.

    The aim of Indiana’s mini-grant project is to explore the current state of K-12 CS education with the intent to positively impact the curriculum and teacher training while broadening participation at each of three pipeline levels: elementary, middle, and high school. Using information gathered from a series of stakeholder meetings, a landscape report will be prepared with a baseline snapshot that includes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and recommendations for next steps within each level of the pipeline. The report may be shared with policymakers and influencers in the state.

    Texas will hold a statewide meeting on Oct. 19, 2016 in Houston, with the ECEP mini-grants support. The CS4TX meeting will be held in conjunction with the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, as was an ECEP-supported meeting in 2015. The meeting will highlight efforts to broaden and diversify K-12 CS experiences in Texas. Advocates for CS education will gather with the goal of connecting K-12, higher education, and CS professional partners together to broaden and diversity CS education opportunities for all students in Texas and the nation. National leaders in CS from the White House, Google and Code will speak, as well.

    In this fourth round of mini-grants, three of the 12 eligible ECEP states and territory submitted proposals in May 2016. Grants are up to $25,000 and aim to support statewide and systemic change, expansion of computing education pathways, and broadened participation.