Creating Your Own K-12 Outreach Program

People looking at screen

Women in Computing group members from Indiana University, Rice University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder are organizing a workshop at SIGCSE 2007 to help administrators, faculty, staff, and students create their own K-12 outreach program. We will share our experiences creating a viable, self-sustaining outreach program that connects with young members of underrepresented groups. Now in its third year, IU's program, Just Be, originally targeted girls in K-12. Rice University and CU have started their programs within the last year with the help of previous workshops at Indiana University. Today the mission and design of our K-12 outreach programs embraces all underrepresented groups because we are losing great women and men in computing fields.

Workshop participants will learn how to develop a program, create an interactive presentation, dispel unflattering myths surrounding computing, generate enthusiasm, advertise effectively, develop contacts at schools and clubs, obtain financing and staff support, maintain sustainability, train new presenters, fine-tune the content, evaluate a program's success, and realize an exponential impact by recursively propagating a program to other schools. Workshop participants and organizers will continue to work together virtually after the workshop by posting ideas, program information, and problems on the Outreach for K-12 Information Technology (Outreach KIT) website.

Have you thought about starting a K-12 outreach program at your school, but just do not know how to make the first steps? Then this workshop is for you! Participants will leave with the genesis of a concrete outreach presentation specifically customized for their schools, and a clear direction for how to proceed, as well as a wealth of materials, advice, and support for continued development.

For more information, please contact Katie Siek or Suzanne Menzel.

Important Information: SIGCSE 2007, Covington, Kentucky, USA

  • Workshop on Friday, March 9, 2007 from 7:00-9:00pm
  • Workshop registration cost is $60 through February 7, 2007; $75 through February 28, 2007
  • Laptops are strongly encouraged for the workshop

Dr. Katie A. Siek is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a co-organizer for Bring IT On! and a founding member and past president of the WIC@IU.

Suzanne Menzel is a senior lecturer at Indiana University,
Just Be faculty advisor, co-organizer for Bring IT On! and member of the executive committee for Women in Computing @ IU.