March 9, 2015

EDC and Berkeley to Scale Computer Science Course in New York City Schools

WALTHAM, MA | EDC has received a four-year, $6.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to lead a partnership that will adapt the University of California, Berkeley’s Beauty and Joy of Computing college course for high school students and bring it to New York City (NYC) public schools.

A key goal of the work is to provide access to high-quality computer science education and computing careers for students who are from communities identified by NSF as having “longstanding underrepresentation in computing.” Data from the NYC Department of Education show that many NYC students are from these communities, of which 40 percent are Hispanic, 28 percent are African American, and almost half are girls.

“All students can enjoy and succeed in rigorous computer science courses, and our country needs to make sure that all students—our future innovators and inventors—have the opportunity to do so,” said EDC Distinguished Scholar Paul Goldenberg who will lead the new effort. “Beauty and Joy of Computing is a brilliant college course, and we are delighted to work with Berkeley to optimize it for use in high schools and to expand access to computer science education for NYC students.”

In addition to Berkeley, EDC is working with the NYC Department of Education and the New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education to support teachers in engaging students in computer science learning at an advanced placement level in a way that strengthens their problem-solving skills, enhances their mathematics learning, and sparks their interest in careers in computing.

The initiative was launched in early 2015, and in April, the program partners will provide an intensive professional development institute for the first cohort of NYC teachers. By the end of the four-year initiative, more than 100 teachers will have participated in professional development and will be teaching the course to approximately 2,000 students.

Learn more about EDC’s work in computer science education.

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