STARS Celebration

Full schedule:

Effective Outreach using App Inventor to Create Android Apps
Barbara Ericson, Georgia Tech
Abstract: Georgia Tech has been using App Inventor in its summer camps, weekend workshops, and teacher workshops since 2012. Our summer camps get statistically significant changes in attitudes towards computing and in knowledge of computing concepts. Come and get some hands-on experience with creating apps using App Inventor. The workshop will include lessons learned from using App Inventor with 4th - 12th grade students as well as high school teachers. We can provide laptops and cell phones for up to 35 participants.

How to run a Scratch Competition
Laura Boullain and Barbara Ericson, Georgia Tech
Abstract: I am proposing a presentation on how to run a Scratch competition. I created a manual that contains detailed information about how to organize all aspects of the competition. The presentation will include the following:
Why hold a Scratch competition?
What age groups should be eligible?
How can you handle submission of the entries?
Suggestions for the requirements for the entries
Who should judge the entries
How to judge the entries
Suggestions for the types and number of prizes
Suggestions for how to pay for the prizes
Suggestions for the awards ceremony
Georgia Tech’s Institute for Computing Education (ICE) has been running a Scratch competition for 4th – 12th grade students since 2010. The competition has grown from 52 entries from 74 students in 2010 to 81 entries from 133 students in Fall 2012. Students earn prizes like Beats headphones, iHome iPod docks, drawing tablets, printers, etc. The competition encourages teachers to use Scratch and encourages students to spend extra time on Scratch projects.

Artbotics using Lego Mindstorms NXT
Barbara Ericson, Georgia Tech
Holly Yanco, Adam Norton UMass Lowell
Abstract: Georgia Tech has been doing effective outreach with LEGO robots since 2005. LEGO has several robotics kits: LEGO WeDO, NXT, and Tetrix. We get statistically significant changes in attitudes after just a 3 hour workshop. We also use the robot kits in our one week non-residential computing summer camps and lend them out to local teachers and non-profits when we aren't using them.
LEGO WeDos can be used with ages 7 and up. You can program your creations using Scratch, which is free software from MIT. You can create a ball kicker, goalie, top spinner, a hungry alligator and more. LEGO NXTs are for ages 8 and up. You can create a wide variety of projects like a flipping gymnast and an electronic guitar. Tetrix kits are using in the FIRST Tech Challenge. You bolt together a Tetrix robot so it is very sturdy.
Come do hands-on activities with LEGO robots during this 3 hour workshop. We will provide the LEGO robots and laptops for 35 attendees for this workshop.

Project Rise Up 4 CS
Barbara Ericson, Georgia Tech
Abstract: The number of students taking and passing the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science (CS) A exam in Georgia has greatly increased over the last 6 years. In 2012, over 1,000 students in Georgia took the Advanced Placement Computer Science A exam. Back in 2007 only 422 students took the exam. The average pass rate in Georgia in 2012 was 46%. However, the pass rate for black students was only 16%. This was the lowest pass rate for any racial group. In comparison, the pass rate for white students was 54%, Asian students 50%, and Hispanic students 37.5%. This problem is widespread. Nationally the pass rate for black students in 2012 was 27%, Hispanic 39%, white 66%, and Asian 69%.
Project Rise Up 4 CS attempted to help more black students pass the CS AP A exam. The program started in January 2013 with 27 participants. STARS students led twice a week webinars to answer questions. There were also once a month hands-on sessions at Georgia Tech. The participants took both pre and post attitude surveys and content knowledge assessments. Participants who attended at least 4 sessions and pass the AP CS A exam (score >= 3) will receive $100.
This talk will share the rational behind Project Rise Up 4 CS, the implementation details, and the results (the scores will be known in July). Many STARS students are proficient in Java and could replicate this project.


Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 8:00am to Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 5:00pm