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  1. Michael Lee
  2. https://michael.gidgetlab.com/
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. New Jersey Institute of Technology
  1. James Geller
  2. https://web.njit.edu/~geller/
  3. Professor and Associate Dean for Research
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. New Jersey Institute of Technology

Increasing Urban Youth Participation in Computing through Mentorship and Codi...

NSF Awards: 1837489

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Undergraduate

Engaging underrepresented and underserved students in computer science is an important goal for the development of the future workforce. Our project involves 10-week Saturday programs for middle school students each semester at participating middle school campuses. Before the start of the program, the project will have a parents' night at a local middle school to educate parents about the program, computing, and why their children should participate in the program. Each Saturday consists of a 7-hour day, split into a morning session (building a website with HTML and CSS) and an afternoon session (learning text and block programming languages). Every other week, a guest speaker from the community gives a brief presentation of her/his career and how it was advanced by computing. Each class is instructed by local university students (supported by middle school teachers). Once the middle school students have finished their 10-week program, the project, they can participate in the Tech/Coding House - a designated space in central Newark for local K-8 and university students to continue with their coding activities (hosted by the Urban League of Essex County, a local non-profit organization). Here, the students learn from each other, work on projects, and develop mentor/mentee relationships.

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