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  1. By age 15 girls start to lose interest in STEM, and less than 50% consider a STEM-related career. Providing hands-on internship opportunities has been one of the leading ways to help connect students with exploring computing careers; however, these opportunities are limited in high school. We propose a framework for a university-led high school internship initiative that focuses on service learning, co-design, and the propagation of engaging computing curricula for younger audiences. We piloted this model virtually in summer 2021, with high school students and teachers as interns mentored by university role models. Teams led the development and implementation of computing-infused curricula for a virtual summer coding camp. In this article, we share our framework and review the importance of service-learning for recruiting diverse participants and the use of co-design as a way to broker relationships between developers and community stakeholders. Additionally, we provide preliminary outcomes of our internship model on student and teacher participants gathered from qualitative data including end-of-summer presentations and post-program interviews.
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. The AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) high school course introduces students to computer science and programming. What should motivated students study after successful completion of AP CSP? The AP CSA class teaches Java programming and it has traditionally not attracted students from underrepresented groups. We are working on an alternative, projects-based course that will teach cutting edge CS concepts, such as distributed computing, computer networking, cybersecurity, the internet of things and machine learning, in a hands-on, accessible manner. Such an approach enables students to work on problems that interest them making computing more relevant and the curriculum more engaging. We utilize NetsBlox, a collaborative, block-based programming environment that extends Snap! with a few carefully selected abstractions that open up the vast array of resources freely available on the internet for student programs. Moreover, the tool enables students to work together on the same project remotely similarly to how Google Docs operate. This demonstration will introduce the environment and highlight its utility in creating distributed applications such as a shared whiteboard app and projects that access public domain scientific data sources and visualize them in various ways using online services such as Google Maps or charting. More information is available atmore »« less
  4. As computing skills become necessary for 21st-century students, infused computational thinking (CT) lessons must be created for core courses to truly provide computing education for all. This will bring challenges as students will have widely varying experience and programming ability. Additionally, STEM teachers might have little experience teaching CT and instructing using unfamiliar technology might create discomfort. We present a design pattern for infused CT assignments that scaffold students and teachers into block-based programming environments. Beginning with existing code, students and teachers work together 'Using' and comprehending code before 'Modifying' it together to fix their programs. The activity ends with students 'Choosing' their own extensions from a pre-set list. We present a comparison of two implementations of a simulation activity, one ending with student choosing how to extend their models and one having all students create the same option. Through triangulating data from classroom observations, student feedback, teacher interviews, and programming interaction logs, we present support for student and teacher preference of the 'Student-Choice' model. We end with recommended strategies for developing curricula that follow our design model.