1. Akos Ledeczi
  2. http://www.isis.vanderbilt.edu/akos
  3. Professor
  4. Collaborative Research: Beyond CS Principles: Engaging Female High School Students in New Frontiers of Computing
  5. https://csfrontiers.org/
  6. Vanderbilt University, NC State University, Looking Glass Ventures
  1. Veronica Catete
  2. http://go.ncsu.edu/catete
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Collaborative Research: Beyond CS Principles: Engaging Female High School Students in New Frontiers of Computing
  5. https://csfrontiers.org/
  6. NC State University
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Veronica Catete

    Veronica Catete

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 9, 2022 | 02:36 p.m.

    Thank you for stopping by!

    We welcome all visitors to leave a comment and ask any questions to our team regarding our NSF collaborative research project: Beyond CS Principles: Engaging Female High School Students in New Frontiers of Computing

    Our Team Leaders are:

    • (PI) Akos Ledeczi | Vanderbilt University
    • (Co-PI) Brian Broll | Vanderbilt University
    • (PI) Shuchi Grover | Looking Glass Ventures
    • (PI) Tiffany Barnes | North Carolina State University

    Our full list of team members can be found at csfrontiers.org

  • Icon for: David Touretzky

    David Touretzky

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 05:28 a.m.

    Very interesting project. Can you say a bit more about the machine learning component? What tools are you having students use to explore machine learning? Thanks.

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Shuchi Grover

    Shuchi Grover

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 09:25 a.m.

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for watching and your question!
    Brian's response below touched on tools. To add a more-- because of our focus on engaging females, the AI/ML curriculum underscores projects of social and cutural relevance. Projects related to Sentiment Analysis that explore Song lyrics (and students extended them to NYT articles in their final projects), AI & Environment, AI & Art, AI & Criminal Justice.

  • Icon for: Brian Broll

    Brian Broll

    Researcher
    May 10, 2022 | 02:42 p.m.

    Thank you! Currently, the AI/ML module includes activities designed entirely in-house as well as activities adapted from some of the other great work in this area including eCraft2Learn, AI4K12, and AI4All. Tools we are using includes:

    If you would like to know more details about any tools in particular, let me know!

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: David Touretzky

    David Touretzky

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 10:48 a.m.

    This is a good list. NetsBlox is new to me, but I've used all the other tools before.

    Another machine learning tool you might find useful is Code.org's AI Lab, an alternative to MachineLearningForKids (ML4K). AI Lab has some built in data visualization capabilities and allows you to upload your own datasets, which ML4K does not do. It also has some good built-in datasets. On the other hand it uses k-NN, so unlike ML4K there is no decision trees that can be displayed. Code.org doesn't make it easy to access AI Lab directly; it's buried inside their AI/ML tutorial. But here's a direct link: https://studio.code.org/s/ai-lab/lessons/1/levels/2/sublevel/5

  • Icon for: Akos Ledeczi

    Akos Ledeczi

    Lead Presenter
    Professor, Vanderbilt University
    May 12, 2022 | 11:53 a.m.

    NetsBlox is a Snap! variant bringing in distributed computing and networking. It provides access to a large set of web APIs and other online data sources and services (including ML related ones). It is also easy to extend with your own data sources. Finally, it can be used to work with hardware devices like robots, phones or even Echo devices. Here is a brief video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq86M0boVLg&amp...

     
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    Veronica Catete
  • Icon for: Emily McLeod

    Emily McLeod

    Facilitator
    Director of Teaching and Learning, Code.org
    May 10, 2022 | 08:22 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this project—super interesting to see the more advanced topics that you are covering while still staying in a block-based programming environment! I also love the focus on topics of relevance and interest to girls. I’m wondering how you think about positioning a course like this for students who might be interested in continuing to pursue computer science in high school or post-secondary—do they get any exposure to text-based languages as part of the course? Do you think students engaged in a course like this will be better prepared for e.g. a Python class or CSA?

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Tiffany Barnes

    Tiffany Barnes

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 01:38 p.m.

    Great question. The class is not specifically designed to lead students to CSA. It is more of an exploratory course to enable students to learn about the concepts underneath these ideas. Python would be a great follow-on. CSA would be great for students who wish to get started on a CS major and/or who wish to focus on learning Java.

  • Icon for: Akos Ledeczi

    Akos Ledeczi

    Lead Presenter
    Professor, Vanderbilt University
    May 10, 2022 | 08:41 p.m.

    Our primary objective is keeping the engagement and motivation that was raised by CSP up. And to do that we introduce them to these more advanced concepts, like distributed computing, IoT, cybersecurity, ML, etc. that they use everyday on their phones and laptops without even realizing necessarily. But we believe that this project based course does prepare them for continuing to more advanced classes. As for text-based languages, the ML module brings in some Python. And we just just finished a prototype of a brand new Python IDE that is designed to transition them to Python from blocks by keeping many of the IDE features they are used to (sprites, stage, costumes and crucially, the concurrency model) and just replace the blocks with Python in a user-friendly environment. Check out this brief video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSjbu90GhHM

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Emily McLeod

    Emily McLeod

    Facilitator
    Director of Teaching and Learning, Code.org
    May 14, 2022 | 03:21 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing that video, Akos! Are you planning to incorporate the new IDE into the curriculum? 

  • Icon for: Akos Ledeczi

    Akos Ledeczi

    Lead Presenter
    Professor, Vanderbilt University
    May 14, 2022 | 08:52 p.m.

    We'll probably keep it optional. So, if a teacher wants to stay in the block-based environment throughout the course, they can. Part of the AI/ML module introduces Python, so that is probably the point where we can. And then students are free to choose to use Python or NetsBlox for their final project.

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 11, 2022 | 06:10 a.m.

    This is such a necessary project. Thanks so much for doing this work! In what ways are you ensuring that the curriculum prioritizes cultural relevance/responsiveness/sustainability?

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Shuchi Grover

    Shuchi Grover

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 09:21 a.m.

    Hi Roxana, thanks for watching and for your question!

    Our curriculum draws on literature on engaging females in STEM/computing-- pedagogies such as project-based learning.. with opportunities for collaboration, Interactions with role models and seeing others like them represented in the field, and working on projects that represent meaningful, socially & culturally consequential activity and connect with student identities, real world issues (and often to other subjects).
    Our teacher PD ensures an emphasis on these pedagogical elements and draws on resources on expansive framing and culturally relevant computing.
    The initial sequence projects that bring the concepts to students are set in issues such as climate change, Covid, music & movies -- all of which allow for student extensions into examining/ interrogating aspects that are of cultural relevance and interest to students. In our summer camp pilots, student responses to the question "what would you do if you had more time to develop/extend the project?" have demonstrated that often these are the kinds of connections students would want to explore with their learning (and the tool).
    Also, the tool we use--NetsBlox--has amazing features that allow us to use an enormous range of Web APIs that bring in real data that touch upon many topics of social and cultural relevance. Perhaps most importantly, it allows students to create or bring in student- and community-related/generated datasets (through the "create your own service" feature to interrogate questions of of personal interest to students and their communities. (This is something we include in our teacher PD, but have not been able to explore fully yet in our summer camp pilots, but plan to do in the full implementation of the curriculum - especially for students' final projects.)
    For example, in order to understand and explore the issue of historical marginalization of certain groups in STEM, students could create a service that explores data from NSF/NCSES on STEM degree awardees at various levels and explore trends by year to see how (or IF at all) things are changing for women and minoritized communities in STEM. This can be part of or a start of an exploration of racist and bias practices in CS. (We included an example of visualizations created with CS PhD data from NSF/NCSES in our recent paper for the VL/HCC 2021 special issue published by Elsevier's Journal of Computer Languages).

    Hope this helps answer your question.

  • Icon for: Shuchi Grover

    Shuchi Grover

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 09:30 a.m.

    The response above touched mostly on the Distributed Computing module. In the AI/ML module, there are a lot of sessions devoted to discussing issues of bias, ethics and social/criminal justice related to AI/ML. Those elements are a constant thread through that module.

  • Icon for: Tiffany Barnes

    Tiffany Barnes

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 01:40 p.m.

    The final Software Engineering module of the course will encourage students to explore a project of their own choosing, which may help somewhat to address cultural relevance.

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 15, 2022 | 06:08 a.m.

    Thank you, Tiffany! Are they provided with examples or guidance for projects that are aligned with their communities?

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Shuchi Grover

    Shuchi Grover

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 17, 2022 | 11:40 a.m.

    The SE Module is still taking shape ahead of its 2022 Summer pilot. We would *WELCOME* pointers to good examples as well as more ways to scaffold thoughtful project conceptualization and guidance on projects aligned with their communities.
    Thanks so much, Roxana, for resources you could share, and for your questions that push us to continue to center our work on these important aspects of engaging learners more meaningfully!

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 11, 2022 | 11:15 a.m.

    That totally answers my question, Shuchi. Congratulations on such a well-thought out project! 

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Shuchi Grover

    Shuchi Grover

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 01:08 p.m.

    Thank you so much, Roxana!

  • Icon for: Rosa Alfaro

    Rosa Alfaro

    University of Texas at El Paso
    May 11, 2022 | 06:45 p.m.

    Hello! Thanks for sharing information about this project.  How do you promote this opportunity to students?  Are teachers provided training?

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Akos Ledeczi

    Akos Ledeczi

    Lead Presenter
    Professor, Vanderbilt University
    May 12, 2022 | 11:49 a.m.

    Yes, we are working closely with our teachers every summer. We recruit students for our summer camps primarily via our connections to schools and teachers. In fact, we are enrolling students now, so please spread the word:

    2-Week Computer Science High School Summer Camp
    Flexible Dates: July 11–15, July 18–22, July 25–29
    Full-Day Camp
    Plenty of spots still open!
    Apply online: go.ncsu.edu/apply2csf

     
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    Stacy Klein-Gardner
  • Icon for: Tiffany Barnes

    Tiffany Barnes

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 01:28 p.m.

    Teachers are provided with 5 days of training directly with the whole PI and development team. 

    Then, teachers teach summer camps with the materials, with support from the team. We have done all the camps virtually. In the past 2 summers, recruiting was through NC State University's outreach program called "The Engineering Place" - they hold a number of summer camps every year.

    This year, we are holding the virtual camps ourselves without working with The Engineering Place, to keep the program free and hopefully recruit more girls. However, we still need a lot more! I hope anyone seeing this will extend a *** PERSONAL *** invitation to any high school girl students you know who would be interested. Please encourage them by letting them know you think they will enjoy the camp and that they have what it takes to be successful in computer science. Our camps in IoT and AI/ML this summer will be a lot of fun and introduce them to researchers, students, and professionals in these fields. http://go.ncsu.edu/apply2csf

    Thanks so much for watching our video!

     
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    Shuchi Grover
    Veronica Catete
  • Icon for: Rosa Alfaro

    Rosa Alfaro

    University of Texas at El Paso
    May 12, 2022 | 01:40 p.m.

    Thanks for the information about the summer camp and teacher training. I can appreciate your request to provide personalize invitations and encouragement to students when sharing the opportunity. Students respond better when there's someone telling them this is something they will be able to succeed in.  I will certainly share the opportunity with the group of college students who serve as CAHSI Advocates and request they provide personalized invitations to students they may know.

     
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    Stacy Klein-Gardner
  • Icon for: Akos Ledeczi

    Akos Ledeczi

    Lead Presenter
    Professor, Vanderbilt University
    May 14, 2022 | 08:48 p.m.

    Thank you!

  • Icon for: Jan Cuny

    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 12, 2022 | 08:10 a.m.

    This is a really interesting and, agreeing with a previous post, much needed project. Great team as well. I'm looking forward to seeing your pilot results.

    Longer term, do you have plans to engage/train more teachers? At what scale?

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Akos Ledeczi

    Akos Ledeczi

    Lead Presenter
    Professor, Vanderbilt University
    May 12, 2022 | 11:43 a.m.

    Hi Jan, it is great to hear from you. Yes, once we have done the full-year pilot, we do want to scale up. The Tennessee Board of Education will vote to accept the course state-wide later this month. We have started the approval process in North Carolina too. We have not made specific plans beyond that, but we are definitely interested in broad dissemination. Once finalized, the curriculum and tools will be freely accessible. And we plan to do more teacher PD as well. 

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Shuchi Grover

    Shuchi Grover

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 12, 2022 | 12:22 p.m.

    Thanks Jan! We as a team are really enjoying working on this project.
    In addition to what Akos mentioned, we have conducted workshops and sessions at CSTA and SIGCSE these past two years in an effort to build awareness among teachers and provide them a sense for this project. We have had a few inbound subsequent inquiries and have shared our (draft) curriculum folders & materials with interested teachers. The hope is to do more concerted teacher PD and engage in more dissemination/training when the curriculum will formally be available on the website by the end of this summer.

  • Icon for: Tiffany Barnes

    Tiffany Barnes

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 01:30 p.m.

    Thanks Jan! We are delighted to be working together on this project with one another and with teachers. We have a team of 8 teachers who have worked with us on this project.

    We would love to do more teacher PD, but will likely have to apply for funds to scale it to more teachers. 

  • Icon for: Adelmo Eloy

    Adelmo Eloy

    Researcher
    May 12, 2022 | 08:25 a.m.

    This s a very interesting project, congratulations! 
    I wonder how you chose those four components and if you have noticed different levels of students' engagement among them. Also, do you have any additional modules in mind for upcoming versions of this project?

    Finally, I want to invite you to check the video of our A2S project (link), in which we are designing a block-based programming environment in which students explore data and computational modeling for science learning. Maybe we can design together a component around these topics for CS Frontiers in the future!

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Akos Ledeczi

    Akos Ledeczi

    Lead Presenter
    Professor, Vanderbilt University
    May 12, 2022 | 12:10 p.m.

    Thanks, Adelmo. I have just watched your video. Cool project. We had a similar project a few years ago called C2STEM We primarily targeted physics in high school and later created a marine biology unit for middle school. We used a variant of the NetsBlox tool in that project too.  Adding a science related module to CSF is a great idea!

     
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    Adelmo Eloy
    Veronica Catete
  • Icon for: Shuchi Grover

    Shuchi Grover

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 12, 2022 | 12:29 p.m.

    Thanks Adelmo! I look forward to checking out your video as well (it sounds similar to our STEM+C project 'C2STEM' as Akos mentioned).
    We also ran a pilot that focused more on climate science and data science with distributed computing ideas (bringing in NOAA datasets to examine ice cores, climate forcings, and coral data). We had a poster at SIGCSE'22 and also have one at the RESPECT'22 conference that focuses on findings of how this interdisciplinary approach impacted students' (mostly girls of color) perceptions of computing and their views of the use of data and interdisciplinary learning.

     
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    Adelmo Eloy
  • Icon for: Tiffany Barnes

    Tiffany Barnes

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 01:35 p.m.

    Thanks Adelmo. We chose these 4 topics because of the relevance of these topics to the newest emerging tech that is impacting the daily lives of students, from social media, to smartphones, to Alexa/Siri/Google assistants, to smart refrigerators, and health applications, and because of the capabilities and experience of our team.

    We haven't yet been able to have large groups of students try all 4 modules, and we are developing modules over the years of the project, so we can't yet do comparisons. We are hoping in the coming year to get some preliminary data from courses, but it is likely to be a small sample size because of the low number of teachers (7 in the initial proposal, and not all are in the classroom anymore, but we will work with 8 teachers this summer), and the challenges of getting a new class offered in each school, and the requirement that students take the CS Principles course before this course. In TN, we may have a year-long course with one teacher. In NC, two of our teachers will be able to offer an "Advanced Topics" independent-study style class, which may not get very large enrollments.

    Computational modeling for science is a very interesting topic and I think it would be great to have more modules teachers can choose from for their classes.

  • May 13, 2022 | 02:15 p.m.

    I'm excited to hear about the possibility of a yearlong course in TN, as that's where I live!  As someone who promotes engineering for us all (e4usa), this is a perfect complement for it.  I think your strategy of getting an official course on the books in as many states as possible will be important so that schools have a way to offer it.  I hope that you will also reach out to the independent schools, perhaps through NCGS and/or NAIS.

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Akos Ledeczi

    Akos Ledeczi

    Lead Presenter
    Professor, Vanderbilt University
    May 14, 2022 | 08:59 p.m.

    Thanks, Stacy. Once we have the pilot "in the bag" we'll definitely do outreach across Tennessee. This is a CTE course, part of the Applied Computing Special Program of Study. I agree that there are synergies with e4usa and students would benefit from taking both courses.

     
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    Stacy Klein-Gardner
  • May 12, 2022 | 03:37 p.m.

    Love that project! Some of the goals we are working on at the Institute for student-AI teaming (iSAT) are promoting collaboration in small groups of middle school students, so I can see interesting overlaps we may have. We are also organizing a workshop where we gather together people who work in such collaborative environments, and are interested to share the challenges they face as part of working in an interdisciplinary team. We would love to hear about lessons learned or simply having you share your experience there. This is the workshop's website: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Getting AI Experts and Education Stakeholders Talking

     
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    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Shuchi Grover

    Shuchi Grover

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 13, 2022 | 11:29 a.m.

    Thanks for watching and your comment, Shiran!
    The workshops sounds great! We'd love to participate in discussions with others working on similar ideas (and likely facing similar challenges) - some of our team may be at the AIED conference so there's a chance we could attend. Many thanks for sharing the link and info.

     
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    Shiran Dudy
  • May 13, 2022 | 02:06 p.m.

    I love this project for giving girls compelling social and cultural reasons to develop coding skills--really nice to see!

     
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    Shiran Dudy
    Shuchi Grover
  • Icon for: Akos Ledeczi

    Akos Ledeczi

    Lead Presenter
    Professor, Vanderbilt University
    May 14, 2022 | 08:59 p.m.

    Thank you, Katherine!

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