EcoCS: Building a School-wide CT/CS-focused Ecosystem
Through an NSF STEM+C grant, we are formalizing a research-practice partnership with a nearby middle school to build a computational thinking and computer science-focused ecosystem. The purpose of the ecosystem is to broaden the participation of underrepresented student populations (e.g., females, African-Americans, Hispanic/Latinx) in computational thinking (CT) and computer science (CS) activities and prepare them for success along such a trajectory. Our work is informed by a STEM ecosystem model which acknowledges that effective CS/CT learning is the product of the entire connected academic enterprise, including school leadership, teacher and student resources, available learning opportunities, along with prior experiences, encouragement, and training. Since the inception of the RPP, university researchers and practitioner leaders have engaged in collective efforts to infuse CT and CS practices into the culture of the school. These efforts include developing a digital sciences leadership team to coordinate and lead school-wide integration efforts, a cohort of teacher leaders who provide professional learning experiences and support to all teachers, and outreach events to engage family and other community members in the ecosystem.
NSF Awards: 1837439