The Utah Exploring Computer Science Initiative is a CS 10K project funded through the National Science Foundation in Computing Education 21 (NSF-CE21 #1240977).
Our goals are to...
Teach students rigorous computer science.
By 2015, Utah could lead the nation by using its technology high school graduation requirement to give tens of thousands of students more opportunities to study STEM.
If you'd like to learn more about the curriculum, please visit its website. Please note that in Utah, due to the course being offered only half the year and with no additional supplies to schools, we are not promoting Unit 3 (Web Design) or Unit 6 (Robotics), and are modifying Unit 5 (Computing and Data Analysis) to use online spreadsheet and mapping tools.
Broaden participation by changing students' preconceptions of computer science.
By 2015, we plan on reaching a large portion of the almost 40,000 Utah students that take a basic technology course each year. In contrast, only about 2,000 Utah students currently take a computer science course that can prepare them for further STEM study.
If you'd like to learn more about how Exploring Computer Science does this, a good resource is the book Stuck in the Shallow End, which discusses the research that led to the curriculum. For a quicker read, you may be interested in the article Can We Fix Computer Science Education in America? in Time Magazine from July 2012.
Prepare and support teachers who would like to teach Exploring Computer Science.
By 2015, we plan on training over 100 teachers across Utah in the Exploring Computer Science curriculum.
If you would like to teach Exploring Computer Science, or just learn more about it, please contact us about attending one of our workshops.
Expand the breadth of the implementation of the Exploring Computer Science course.
By 2015, we plan to reach 60% of Utah high schools with our Exploring Computer Science curriculum. In contrast, today only 25% of schools offer any sort of CS curriculum.
If you are a member of a school board, school administration, or concerned parent, please see our personnel page for contact information for getting Exploring Computer Science offered in your area.
Disseminate our results nationwide.
As we gather evaluation data, we'll be posting it, along with presentations and papers in this space; stay tuned!