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Tuesday, November 1 • 1:45pm - 2:35pm
Exploring Computer Science: Engaging High School Students and Teachers Across MA

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Technology is transforming our world and every career field. Most parents recognize the need for students to move beyond using technology, to understanding how it is made and how computing intersects with our daily lives. Teachers increasingly want to bring basic knowledge of computer science (CS) to their students. Yet more than three-quarters of U.S. schools do not offer CS.

The Massachusetts Exploring Computer Science Partnership (MECSP), with the support of the National Science Foundation, is preparing teachers to engage diverse Massachusetts 9th graders in a yearlong Exploring Computer Science (ECS) course. A teacher-leader, evaluator, and partnership member from MECSP will (1) discuss program impacts on teachers, students, and administrators; (2) present the standards-aligned ECS curriculum and rigorous professional development (PD) model; and (3) explain the research behind ECS; the social, economic, and educational challenges ECS is designed to address; and the successful multi-sector partnership structure of MECSP.

Session participants will leave with an understanding of access and equity issues in CS education, ECS’s design as a course to engage diverse students, how ECS fills a gap between K-8 engagement experiences and typical high school CS courses, ECS’s impact on student attitudes and self-rated skills in CS, the impact of the PD program and teaching experience on teachers, the impact of the course on schools, opportunities to bring ECS to MA high schools, teachers, and students.


Janet Dee

Instructional Technology Specialist, Reading Memorial High School

Renee Fall

Director, Western Mass. MECSP Hub; Manager, CAITE, Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education, UMass Amherst

Karen Gareis

Senior Research Associate, Goodman Research Group, Inc.

Tuesday November 1, 2016 1:45pm - 2:35pm EDT
Meeting Room E