Known as a “Strength Across Schools” research-practice partnership, the project aims to create a network in the Pittsburgh region that will include middle schools, a regional educational support center (Allegheny Intermediate Unit), and a university (University of Pittsburgh School of Education).
This network will investigate, align, and co-create instructional materials and related teacher professional development materials that infuse computational thinking (CT) and computer science (CS) into middle school English Language Arts classrooms within existing school curricula and structures.
Middle school is often the time when youth form ideas about their interests and abilities in STEM.
The terms CT/CS describe the content in the curriculum that will be co-created. CT describes the cognitive processes that undergird the field of CS (e.g. finding patterns) and CS refers to the skills and knowledge specific to the field (e.g. blocks-based coding).
The project is meant to expand access and opportunity in computer science education.
- To ensure that all students have access to rigorous CT/CS curriculum
- To provide CT/CS learning opportunities in an environment outside current STEM classrooms to increase computational identity, knowledge and skills, and digital empowerment for female and Black students
- To equip underrepresented middle school students with the knowledge, skills, identities, and agency to succeed in high school computer science courses and beyond
The project is funded by the National Science Foundation through a CS4ALL Award # 2122588.