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Historically, female students have shown low interest in the field of computer science. Previous computer science curricula have failed to address the lack of female-centered computer science activities, such as socially relevant and real-life applications. Our new summer camp curriculum introduces the topics of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and other real-world subjects to engage high school girls in computing by connecting lessons to relevant and cutting edge technologies. Topics range from social media bots, sentiment of natural language in different media, and the role of AI in criminal justice, and focus on programming activities in the NetsBlox and Python programming languages. Summer camp teachers were prepared in a week-long pedagogy and peer-teaching centered professional development program where they concurrently learned and practiced teaching the curriculum to one another. Then, pairs of teachers led students in learning through hands-on AI and ML activities in a half-day, two-week summer camp. In this paper, we discuss the curriculum development and implementation, as well as survey feedback from both teachers and students.
The Computer Science Frontiers (CSF) project introduces teachers to the topics of artificial intelligence and distributed computing to engage their female students in computing by connecting lessons to relevant cutting edge technologies. Application topics include social media and news articles, as well as climate change, the arts (movies, music, and museum collections), and public health/medicine. CSF educators are prepared in a pedagogy and peer-teaching centered professional development program where they simultaneously learn and teach distributed computing, artificial intelligence, and internet of things lessons to each other. These professional developments allow educators to hone in on their teaching skills of these new topics and gain confidence in their ability to teach new computer science materials before running several activities with their students in the academic year classroom. In this workshop, teachers participating in the CS Frontiers professional development will give testimonials discussing their experiences teaching these topics in a two week summer camp. Attendees will then try out three computing activities, one from each Computer Science Frontiers module. Finally, there will be a question and answer session.