Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is a national initiative dedicated to expand participation in K-12 computer science programs by getting both students and educators inspired and engaged. CSEdWeek is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). This annual event was first recognized in 2010 when the 111th Congress passed House Resolution 1560.
This year, NCWIT celebrated by sharing a handful of our more than 160 resources for teachers, counselors, and families who want to help make computing programs more inclusive and diverse: “7 Resources for 7 Days of CSEdWeek.” Browse through the list below, and you’re sure to find some new ideas and activities that you can use to spark students’ interest and support their success.
What if you had access to a whole library of activities and lesson plans, all specially designed to get students from diverse backgrounds engaged in introductory computing classes? That’s exactly what you’ll find in EngageCSEdu: a comprehensive, open source collection of introductory computer science course materials. All materials are peer-reviewed for quality and effective use of one or more Engagement Practices — proven teaching techniques that both improve instruction and retain students who have traditionally been underrepresented in computing.
2. Top 10 Ways to Engage School Counselors as Allies in the Effort to Increase Student Access to Computer Science Education and Careers
School counselors are well positioned to be allies in getting kids interested in computing and reducing barriers to their participation. If you want to improve accessibility, a great place to start is by reviewing your school’s master schedule to make sure there are no hidden or unintended obstacles that prevent students from participating in computing programs. Find more ways to get involved in this resource.
As of 2017, Latinas held only one percent of computing jobs. TECHNOLOchicas, a campaign co-produced by NCWIT and Televisa, helps young Latinas understand that the society needs their valuable technological contributions by showcasing relatable role models. The campaign offers a collection of powerful, inspiring videos that are perfect for sharing with students and families.
4. Unplug Your Curriculum
Who says you have to sit still to learn about computing? “Computer Science-in-a-Box: Unplug Your Curriculum,” a downloadable resource kit, shows educators how to engage students from all backgrounds by using creative projects and active play to teach computing fundamentals.
5. NCWIT AspireIT
NCWIT AspireIT is designed to teach K-12 girls programming fundamentals and computational thinking in fun, creative, and hands-on environments. Bonus: each program is led by an Aspirations in Computing Community member in partnership with an NCWIT Alliance member organization, resulting in a unique, near-peer learning experience. Use this directory to find AspireIT programs that are open for registration in your area!
6. Introduce Computing in an Engaging Way
What do you do to get diverse students engaged in computing classes? From LEGOs to virtual worlds to getting up and moving around, there are all kinds of creative ways to introduce computing concepts to kids so that they’ll be engaged and eager to learn more. Furthermore, assignments that connect the technology to students’ interests, experiences, and knowledge can help keep kids interested! You’ll find plenty of “out of the box” ideas in this set of Promising Practices.
7. Computer Science Is for Everyone
Kids who are encouraged by a parent or teacher are more likely to say they’ll take a computing class. Never underestimate the impact of your words of encouragement; this is a key way to help make computing programs more welcoming and accessible for students of all genders and backgrounds! The Computer Science Is for Everyone Toolkit offers lots of ways YOU, as an advocate for change, can help increase diversity in computing.