1127 Views
  1. Chuck Barlow Jr
  2. Member/ Advocate/ Executive Director
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. CS4GA, Atlanta Public Schools, SOSSI
  1. Derryll Johnson
  2. Teacher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Atlanta Public Schools, CTAE, CS4GA

The Atlanta Backbone Organization Design Workshop: Computer Science Education...

NSF Awards: 1650516

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Informal / multi-age

Crawford W. Long Middle School (a STEM Certified Atlanta Public School) is committed to empowering students with the confidence, social skills and intellectual capacity required to successfully thrive and compete in the global marketplace. We believe every student has the potential to succeed, and we are dedicated to making a difference in children's lives by encouraging them to open their minds to learning, discovery and achievement.

Long MS hosted a fun, filled STEM Day of learning on Friday, November 3rd, from 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. Fifth through eighth (5th–8th) grade students from throughout the South Atlanta Cluster of Atlanta Public Schools, took part in labs, activities, games, discussions and more to gain experiences in S.T.E.M. careers skills they need in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Community Partners, Industry Professionals, Educators, and Entrepreneurs gathered to bring awareness, exposure, and opportunities to inform and excite students in as many different areas of S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. as possible.

The video highlights STEM collaboration in the South Atlanta Cluster, students working on digital marketing skills in preparation for Nov. 3rd STEM Fair, planning for 6th grade field trip to Apple Store in Lenox mall, and how students served as STEM Ambassadors, helping to assist, interview, and document STEM/STEAM activities all year.  Lastly, the students planned a Pizza with Partners cluster wide meeting to share school data, community successes and concerns, discuss cluster wide STEM/STEAM initiatives and how to make their communities better, and experienced the zSpace trailer in the front parking lot.  CS4GA has also received NSF Grant- 1744431 to continue CS education work by Aligning For Impact (A4I) in Georgia.

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Original Discussion from the 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Jake Foster

    Jake Foster

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 01:25 p.m.

    The video highlights the importance of engaging underrepresented students in STEM. Thank you for taking this on. With that said, I am a bit uncertain as to the scope of this project. From the description and many of the images in the video, it seems to be a very localized initiative for students in middle school, with some community outreach elements. But from the attachments and a few of the references in the video it also could also be a state-wide systemic initiative to increase STEM and CS across the educational system. Both have their value and importance, but are two very different initiatives. Could you clarify?

    I am also interested in the comment in the video stating that computational thinking "is also the latest developmental progression in general problem solving." Could you say more about that? What does that developmental progression look like in the broader sense, and how is CT the latest version or stage of it? How are CT and problem solving made an explicit part of your project? Thank you.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Chuck Barlow Jr
  • Icon for: Chuck Barlow Jr

    Chuck Barlow Jr

    Lead Presenter
    Member/ Advocate/ Executive Director
    May 13, 2019 | 06:17 p.m.

    Hi Jake,

     

    Thanks for checking out the CS4GA video that explains our statewide effort, highlighting a local initiative focused on the South Atlanta Cluster in Atlanta Public Schools.  The video focuses on the CS4GA Advisory Council completing Middle School CS/STEM Standards, while showing what underserved underrepresented communities are doing to become certified, as well as show how students in the cluster were invited to participate in cluster-wide initiatives focused on STEM and CS to introduce them to the world of STEM in a fun and interactive way.  The attachments show the growth and scope of our work in the State of Georgia. I have served on the advisory board since it's inception in 2016.  

    While many parents, students, teachers, and community members struggle to understand what CS, STEM, and STEAM mean, we realize it is more important to help them understand computational thinking and explain why it is important. These are essential skills that are a blend of math, science, and critical thinking skills focused on solving high level problems with viable cost effective solutions.  

    A perfect example, is how CS4GA has also consulted with individuals and organizations that focus on exposing students with disabilities to CS concepts. The average person would assume that students with special needs would not do well in CS or STEM, however research has shown that they can have just as much success with the right accommodations, tools, and support.  The same is true about students from low income communities as well.  Teaching them how to use computational thinking to solve real world problems in school, at home, and in our communities is our goal.

  • Icon for: Jake Foster

    Jake Foster

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 09:00 p.m.

    Thank you for the clarification. This is, then, a large-scale effort! I applaud the work of all involved in Georgia. Having worked at the state level in Massachusetts for many years I know that driving change in a state-wide system is a challenge and slow work. And given that scale, there are -- as you note -- a wide diversity of contexts and students to engage. There is rarely a single strategy that works in all these contexts. With computational thinking as the theme, what are some ways that the engagement, activities, messages, and/or strategies are adjusted for different contexts across the state?

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Chuck Barlow Jr
  • Icon for: Chuck Barlow Jr

    Chuck Barlow Jr

    Lead Presenter
    Member/ Advocate/ Executive Director
    May 13, 2019 | 11:08 p.m.

    Jake

    Yes, we are currently working to convene stakeholders around the State of Georgia to learn from school districts, community organizations, employers, STEM and CS leaders about ways to engage and educate communities on the best practices and resources available to them. Each school district has autonomy, so they can choose to implement or intergrate CS in ways they feel would best support their students and families. In addition, we would like to learn how we can best support teachers get STEM and CS certifications, support HS students in the areas of CS/ STEM certifications Career and Pathways, support implementation of new Middle School CS Standards, and advocate for educators, nonprofits, and employers to use collective impact to increase equity for all,  as we prepare our youth for high demand careers in Georgia.  Lastly, the needs of rural, urban, and inner city communities will vary, so it is important to spend time listening and getting to know the people in order to provide support, while developing a database with resources accessible to everyone in our communities.  For more information, visit www.cs4ga.org

  • May 13, 2019 | 04:05 p.m.

    Can you say more about how clusters are formed, who comprises the clusters, how long they stay together, and the types of activities they participate in?

  • Icon for: Chuck Barlow Jr

    Chuck Barlow Jr

    Lead Presenter
    Member/ Advocate/ Executive Director
    May 13, 2019 | 05:30 p.m.

    Hi Camelia,

    Thanks for checking out the video!  School Clusters are formed with elementary and middle schools that feed into a particular high school. The clusters stay together unless the school board rezones boundaries.  Each cluster has industry-focus career pathways aligned to students graduation plan.

     

     

  • Icon for: Breanne Litts

    Breanne Litts

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 07:25 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your work! This statewide effort sounds really interesting and important. I'm curious to hear more about how you've implemented it across the state for change and impact. What are some successful instructional approaches or strategies you've identified for supporting students with disabilities in CS education? 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Chuck Barlow Jr
  • Icon for: Chuck Barlow Jr

    Chuck Barlow Jr

    Lead Presenter
    Member/ Advocate/ Executive Director
    May 13, 2019 | 10:39 p.m.

    Hi Breanna,

    Thanks for reviewing video, supporting #CS4GA, and leaving comments. We have not implemented any statewide initiatives focused on CS specifically for students with disabilities, but we have hosted a workshop to share resources. Each school district may have implemented some strategies, but we are still reaching out to collect data from every region in Georgia. There is a slide in the video that provide some instructional strategies and approaches. The collective is working to be as inclusive as possible.

  • Icon for: Christopher Lee

    Christopher Lee

    Researcher
    May 19, 2019 | 07:32 p.m.

    This video caught my eye because I graduated from Georgia Tech and I lived in West End Atlanta for several years. While in Atlanta, I helped create community technology centers, where I provided technical expertise and organized classes. I still believe that students need access to resources when they leave school in order to fully develop their passions and abilities. What are some of the most effective community resources that you have implemented or identified through this project?

    Thanks!

    Chris

  • Small default profile

    Christopher Jett

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 20, 2019 | 12:11 p.m.

    Nice project Atlanta team!!! Chuck, it was great meeting you in Douglasville, and I’m delighted to see you working with my amazing colleagues. 

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

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