CSC News

November 04, 2013

Spreading the Beauty and Joy of Computing

Congratulations to Dr. Tiffany Barnes, associate professor of Computer Science, on her National Science Foundation (NSF) award of $352,831 for her collaborative research project: FRABJOUS CS - Framing a Rigorous Approach to Beauty and Joy for Outreach to Underrepresented Students in Computing at Scale (FRABJOUS).  

The award will run from February 1, 2013 - August 31, 2014.

Abstract - In this FRABJOUS CS project, we will prepare 60 high school teachers to teach the Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) Computer Science Principles curriculum. The BJC course is a rigorous introductory computing course that highlights the meaning and applications of computing, while introducing low-threshold programming languages Snap-Scratch, GameMaker and AppInventor. BJC is informed and inspired by the Exploring Computer Science curriculum that was explicitly designed to channel the interests of urban HS students with culturally relevant and meaningful curriculum (Goode 2011)(Margolis 2008). The BJC course uses collaborative classroom methods including pair learning, and student-selected projects are geared toward leveraging students knowledge of social media, games, devices and the internet. At UNC Charlotte in 2010 and 2011, PI Barnes engaged college students in supporting the BJC course, and in after-school outreach and summer camps that excite middle and high school students about this curriculum at different levels.

The project engages three university faculty members and 6 college students to help high school teachers build a Computer Science Teachers Association chapter and provide ongoing professional development and support for the BJC course. The project also engages high school teachers and an education researcher to help refine and enrich the BJC curriculum to be easier to adopt and teach in high schools.

For more information about Dr. Barnes, click here.

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