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New Mexico Computer Science for All

Sponsoring Organization: 
National Science Foundation, UNM, Santa Fe Institute

The Santa Fe Institute (SFI), in partnership with the University of New Mexico, the Supercomputing Challenge, and other educational organizations, industry partners, and local schools, is developing an exciting new project called New Mexico Computer Science for All (NM-CSforAll).
NM-CSforAll’s targets middle and high school STEM teachers, preparing them to be future CS teachers. It offers a novel, interdisciplinary approach that uses modeling and simulation as the basis for teaching CS Principles, the proposed, new Advanced Placement (AP) CS course. Teachers first take the modeling and simulation version of CS Principles online and then implement it as a dual credit course for their students. During a Spring semester-long course, the teachers investigate real-world problems, view them through the lens of complex systems—SFI’s primary research area—and then model and analyze them using agent-based modeling techniques. The project uses a “flipped” classroom methodology, meaning the lecture portion of the course will be offered as online videos, while the exercise and project work will take place in the lab, face-to-face. A summer workshop focuses on reviewing the CS content of the course, learning pedagogy, and recruitment techniques in preparation for the Fall semester implementation in the schools. The Fall implementation of the dual credit CS Principles class for high school students uses the videos developed for the teacher professional development course as lecture material and weekly “lab” session meetings led by participating teachers acting as learning coaches. (NM now requires a dual-credit, AP, or honors course for high school graduation and this course will fulfill the requirement.)
NM CSforAll’s secondary strategy fosters teachers’ CS content learning, CS teaching pedagogy, and computer programming practice through engagement in a professional online community. NM-CSforAll’s online network will include video sharing, uploading of documentation of work sessions, and social networking capabilities providing opportunities for teachers to learn from each other’s implementations of CS activities and communicate with each other, STEM educators, CS professionals and educational researchers. Teacher participants, as the co-creators of content for the site, will have shared authority, a critical factor in creating environments conducive to building knowledge about teaching and learning CS. The project evaluation will determine whether teacher professional development in CS that integrates computational modeling and analysis of complex systems, builds capacity in future CS teachers, and whether co-creation and use of an online professional development network can improve teachers’ pedagogical skills and sustain their interest in CS.
The graduate level CS Principles Teacher Professional Development course for teachers (UNM CS390) will be offered Spring Semester 2012. The course for students (UNM CS141) will be offered as a dual credit course for students Fall semester 2013. For more information, please email Irene Lee, lee@santafe.edu .

I Support Computer Science Education in New Mexico
Submission Type : 
Conference or Event
Ongoing Event: 
Event Season: 
Year Round
Program Contact Information
Program Contact : 
Irene Lee
lee [at] santafe.edu
University or College Affiliation: 
The University of New Mexico
Is your program statewide?: 
What types of communities do you serve?(Urban/Rural): 
Target Audience: 
9-12th Grade
K-12th Grade Teachers
Underrepresented Minorities in General