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Media Advisory 10-033
Live Online Briefing: Inspiring the Next Bill Gates

During Computer Science Education Week, NSF spotlights computer scientists who make it cool to compute

Photo of a person engaged with a cloth printed circuit board.

MIT's Leah Buechley engages students with her method of creating cloth printed circuit boards, PCBs.
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December 3, 2010

While American information technology and software companies dominate the world marketplace, there is a gaping hole in formal computer science education. For K-12 students, computer science education is practically nonexistent. The country lacks an adequate pipeline to feed world class computer science university programs throughout the U.S. with the number and diversity of students needed to address future challenges. To recognize the critical role of computing and computer science education in the 21st century, Congress declared Dec. 5 to 11 this year as Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek).

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 at 12 noon, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will host a webcast featuring Amy Bruckman of Georgia Tech and Leah Buechley of MIT, who are at the forefront of teaching information technologies to the next generation of computer scientists, any one of whom may be the next Bill Gates ... or even computer science pioneer Grace Hopper, whose birthday on Dec. 9, 1906, is recognized in the timing of this event. Rear Admiral Hopper, or "Amazing Grace," is credited with leading the development of the first modern computer language, COBOL, and popularizing the term "debugging."

Students will join Buckman at Georgia Tech to describe how GLITCH, a program that recruits high-school boys to "debug" as game testers has turned them on to computer science. Buechley will demonstrate how E-Textiles at MIT have captured the imagination and honed the computational skills of girls.

Join them, along with CSEdWeek representative Cameron Wilson of the Association for Computer Machinery, for demonstrations and innovative ideas on how to bolster K-12 computer science education.

Who:Journalists
When:December 7, 2010,12 noon EST
Where:Visit http://www.science360.gov/live and/or call 888-469-3145 to access the briefing.
How:Passwords are needed to access the briefing and to ask questions during the live event; journalists interested in participating must email lisajoy@nsf.gov to obtain the necessary username and passwords.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Alexandra Kahn, MIT, akahn@media.mit.edu
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, lisajoy@nsf.gov
Michael Terrazas, Georgia Tech, (404) 385-7225, mterraza@cc.gatech.edu

Program Contacts
Janice Cuny, NSF, (703) 292-8900, jcuny@nsf.gov

Related Websites
Computer Science Education Week: http://www.csedweek.org/
Clothing Gets Computerized - About E-Textiles: http://singularityhub.com/2009/06/18/clothing-gets-computerized/
GLITCH: Using computer game testing to hook students: http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~tjohnson3/GlitchTest.html

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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Computer Science Education Weekd, csedweek.org.
Congress designated December 5-11, 2010, as Computer Science Education Week.
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