The following are descriptions of projects that were funded by CS4HS grants in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in 2010.
EPFL's Roberta Robotic Centre uses 'fascination with robots' to get female students interested in ICT and engineering. In 2009, the university ran five events for high school and primary school girls and their teachers including Robotics Festivalworkshops (for 160 participants), middle school teacher training courses and a special parent/daughter workshop. The team also organised a one-week robotic summer school for boys and girls in which children learned about motors and sensors and built their own robot using the NXT-G programming language. EPFL's latest initiative--'Robots are, indeed, for girls'--takes inspiration from their highly successful 'Internet for Girls' workshops (12 two-hour-long sessions over 12 weeks, attracting over 1000 participants in the past 6 years). Based on this scheme, the team developed a series of workshops for 11 to 13-year-old girls incorporatingLego Mindstorms . Expert instructors were hired to run the first course, which was fully booked within one week. CS4HS funding helped support these workshops and will enable additional scaling in the future.
Animation10 is a UK-wide competition designed to enthuse school children aged 7-19 about Computer Science. To enter, children create an original computer animation, up to one minute in length, using any of: Alice, Flash, Greenfoot, Scratch or SerifDraw. Children can enter as individuals or in small teams, and win prizes for the best work in four age groups: 7-11, 11-14, 14-16 and 16-19. The climax of the competition is a public event incorporating a grand winners’ film show and prize-giving ceremony, followed by an afternoon of inspirational talks and hands-on activities, bringing Computer Science to life for the children. The competition waspre-announced in September 2009, launched formally in January 2010, and has asubmission deadline of 1 April 2010. CS4HS provides half the funding necessary to support Animation10.
cs4fn is a major international campaign to get young people interested in computer science. The Queen Mary team engages directly with students and teachers in a variety of ways – a print magazine, a website (www.cs4fn.org) andlive talks and shows. They also produce and distribute spin-off publications, including a series of books of magic tricks based on computer science and maths. CS4HS supports many of the costs for printing and distributing cs4fn publications in EMEA and travel costs for the cs4fn team to events that engage teachers, students and the general public with computer science. CS4HS helps pay for a wide range of activities – translations, reprints, mailings, participation in conferences and activities for teachers, helping them reach a wider audience of students and spread ideas and expertise to more teachers and academics.
Israeli high school's employ world-leading computer science curriculum, yet, a relatively low percentage of female high school students go on to study CS subjectsin university. Technion University has partnered with Google to increase female high school students' awareness of CS and its potential as an academic/career option. Their initiative aims to foster the participation of high school female students, increase the female high school CS students' awareness to what high tech work means and expose the female high school to role models in the field via a series of visits to Google engineering offices and external tech talks. The project is conducted jointly with "Machshava" (Thought) - the Israeli National Center for Computer Science Teachers. CS4HS funding helped sponsor four visits for 40-50 students each over the past year. Based on feedback from attendees, the office tours and talks from female engineers have had an immediate influence and impact, considerably influencing female student's desire to continue with CS studies at a university level. Technion will continue to collect data from future attendees and carry out additional statistical analysis, tracking the programme's impact on university enrollment.
CSiC/ICSP is a distance learning, outreach module, targeted at Irish senior cycle Secondary School students, which provides an overview of the discipline of Computer Science, the broad range of career opportunities and exposes students to a foundation in the fundamentals of Computer Programming. Modules give students an overall picture of the Computer Science discipline, an introduction to programming and a flavour of related career possibilities. Students who successfully complete the module earn 5 university credits, and if they subsequently undertake an undergraduate degree in Computer Science at University College Dublin they can cash-in the 5 credits earned during their ﬁrst year of studies. Modules were run over 12 consecutive weeks in three main blocks during a period from early 17 October to 19 December, with three full day Saturday Workshops hosted in the School of Computer Science & Informatics at University College Dublin. Between the Saturday Workshops the module was delivered in the form of distance learning using the Moodle (http://csimoodle.ucd.ie)collaborative learning environment. CS4HS funding partially offsets the cost of delivering CSiC modules, which are currently under planning for 2010.
This project aims at integrating the Computer Science Unplugged (CSU) program into the junior high school system in Israel. During the first year of this project, activities focused on materials development, program piloting and teacher/tutor training. Resources are developed and offered to teachers in packaged modules, each of which is a collection of related games and activities in a certain domain of interest. The CSU-Hebrew program is already running in 8 schools throughout the country and is expected to reach about 20 schools during 2010. As the program's web site is freely available,teachers and parents download materials and use them in various settings without assistance--creating a scalable DIY model. The CS4HS grant is used to finance theworkshops (food and drink, parking, photocopying, teaching materials, etc.) and to pay a modest salary to student-tutors, enabling the programme to expand and reach substantially more schools than would be otherwise possible.
'Look to the Future' is a one day conference for Scottish computing educators with input from universities, schools, and key government organisations includingLearning and Teaching Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. The conference will take place on 11th June 2010 at Heriot-Watt University and will include three international keynotes, plus a number of panels featuring industry speakers-- on new curricular developments in Scotland, web filtering policies in schools (as requested by teachers) and cutting-edge research delivered by SICSA, the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance. CS4HS funding has allowed Herriot-Watt to bring in speakers from other countries, sharing an international perspective with Scottish attendees.
ENTER-TENK is a math training course offered to senior high school and junior high students in the Oslo area, teaching youngsters that a science education provides abroad selection of future careers. The programme has approximately 400 student participants and 34 science and technology graduates working as mentors. ENTER-TENK'snational mentor model enables other universities and schools in Norway to start and run similar projects--in fact, the programme has spurred 13 partnerships already and has been awarded the 2010 International Education and Business Partnership 'GlobalBest Award.' CS4HS has allowed ENTER-TENK to spread its mentor model, organise mentor conferences and acquire new laptops and other resources for coursework.