Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) Starts on Monday, December 9
Providing adequate computing education to students can inspire them to choose computer science majors and careers, but not all states allow computer science to count as a math or science graduation requirement. #CSEdWeek represents an opportunity to offer informal learning experiences, and each of us can get involved.
#CSforAll takes all of us. Each of us can not only show students how computing skills can take their interests and talents to the next level, but also prepare and motivate students to contribute to the computing workforce with their unique perspectives. Below are recommendations for educators, parents, industry professionals, and others to use for captivating and encouraging students, as well as taking action as allies:
Introduce relatable role models. One of the most important characteristics of a role model is that students perceive them as “relatable” and similar to themselves. For this reason, NCWIT provides campaigns that profile and celebrate diverse technical women, such as TECHNOLOchicas. Co-produced with the Televisa Foundation, this campaign speaks to young Latinas and their families, raising awareness about opportunities and careers in technology.
This week, TECHNOLOchicas will be out in their communities, engaging young Latinas and their families in interactive computing activities and Q&As with computing students and professionals. Follow along via social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for a peek into all of the action.
Spark interest. It’s never too early to encourage girls (even preschoolers) to explore technology. Explore a multitude of ways to get hands-on and focus on learning using a growth mindset in this popular NCWIT resource, available in English and Spanish: “Top 10 Ways Families Can Encourage Girls' Interest in Computing.”
Bridge the encouragement gap. A prominent study shows that by the time young girls reach the age of 6, they are less likely to believe that they are as smart as boys. Boys and girls alike need to hear that all girls are just as smart, talented, and capable of being scientists as boys. Find more key highlights from published research studies and follow-up tips on practicing encouragement in this summary.
Build and expand inclusivity. As acknowledged in this guide, increasing diversity in computing is a team effort. Educators should consider enlisting the support of administrators, guidance counselors, and others in their school ecosystem to help spread the word and set an example. (Microsoft and Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS [Technology Education and Literacy in Schools] partnered with NCWIT to develop this tool.)
Interrupt bias. Imagine this: in the capstone course, a student group decides to “divide and conquer.” They suggest that the lone woman in the group take the role of communicating with the client. What (if anything) would you do or say? Interrupting Bias in Academic Settings can help you practice ways to interrupt bias in real-life situations.
Want more tips and recommendations for engaging students in computing? Follow @NCWIT on Facebook and Twitter for more resources that you can use throughout CSEdWeek (and the other 51 weeks of the year).
#CSEdWeek takes place December 9-15, 2019 to coincide with the birthday of Admiral Grace Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computer science who was born on December 9, 1906. This annual event was first recognized in 2010 when the 111th Congress passed House Resolution 1560.