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Award Abstract #1346922

Type I: Collaborative Research: FRABJOUS CS - Framing a Rigorous Approach to Beauty and Joy for Outreach to Underrepresented Students in Computing at Scale

NSF Org: CNS
Division Of Computer and Network Systems
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Initial Amendment Date: September 24, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: April 2, 2014
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Award Number: 1346922
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Janice E. Cuny
CNS Division Of Computer and Network Systems
CSE Direct For Computer & Info Scie & Enginr
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Start Date: February 1, 2013
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End Date: August 31, 2016 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $438,831.00
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Investigator(s): Tiffany Barnes tiffany.barnes@gmail.com (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: North Carolina State University
CAMPUS BOX 7514
RALEIGH, NC 27695-7514 (919)515-2444
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NSF Program(s): Computing Ed for 21st Century
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Program Reference Code(s): 7382, 9116
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Program Element Code(s): 7382

ABSTRACT

The University of California, Berkeley and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte propose a collaborative effort?called FRABJOUS?to develop and deploy a proposed, new Advanced Placement (AP) computing course that can successfully achieve outreach ? attracting women and underrepresented minorities ? while having a technically rigorous programming component. The work extends the PIs? previous work on the Berkeley ?Beauty and Joy of Computing? course and the College Board?s CS Principles course to the high school level, addressing the development and study of new instructional materials as well as the impact of teacher professional development on student learning outcomes. The course uses a visually rich programming environment, called Snap, that is based on Scratch. Scratch has had well-documented success in teaching computer programming to 8-14 year olds because of the power of its visual metaphor. Snap extends the metaphor to teach more advanced methods, including recursion, higher order procedures, and object-oriented programming, to 14-19 year olds. Specifically the FRABJOUS project will

? Develop a core group of mentor teachers in the Berkeley and Charlotte areas,

? Conduct and evaluate intensive summer professional development workshops for in-service high school teachers,

? Develop regional partnerships between universities and high schools, creating CSTA chapters and connecting them through the STARS Alliance,

? Study university and high school student learning outcomes,

disaggregating data by race, gender, age, course, and curricular models to

understand the curriculum's effectiveness, ease of use, and impact, particularly

the introduction of advanced concepts (higher order functions, recursion,

distributed computing, concurrency, simulation) at this early level,

? Compare outcomes for students and teaches trained directly by the PIs with those trained by the mentor teachers, and

? Expand the capability of Snap.

The project thus includes tool and materials development, assessments of student learning outcomes, and study of the impact of teacher professional development via workshops and school year support activities, including peer-to-peer and online support.

 

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