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Monday July 26 - Wednesday July 28



One important issue our nation must confront is the declining interest in computer science among high school students. Interest in majoring in computer science among incoming college freshmen dropped approximately 60 percent between 2000 and 2004, according to a Computing Research Association study published in May 2005. Additionally, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), the existing educational policy of election rarely requires computing in secondary school, resulting in students that have a narrow and inaccurate view of what computer science and information technology study involves, what careers are possible, or how students can make an impact on society by becoming a computer scientist. With some experts projecting the addition of 1.5 million computer and information technology jobs to the U.S. workforce by 2012, the results of this trend could prove catastrophic to our nation's technological leadership and economic infrastructure.

Carnegie Mellon University is addressing this critical decline in interest in computer science at the high school level by working on classroom solutions that will result in a reversal of this trend.

The new Computer Science for High Schools (CS4HS) program at Carnegie Mellon is running a 3-day summer workshop to disseminate curriculum modules that high school AP computer science instructors can implement in the classroom that provide students with an exposure to the versatility and applicability of the programming skills they have learned throughout the school year. Educators can use the modules from the workshop to show students that computer science is much more than computer programming.

Faculty from the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science will participate in the CS4HS workshop and together with computer science leaders from industry provide three days of instruction to teachers, assisting them in the development of additional curriculum that will expose students to the broad and ubiquitous nature of the field. Topics will include robotics, computational biology, internet search strategies and computational thinking. The summer workshop will also offer panel discussions featuring nationally recognized leaders in computer science education that will examine the latest trends in computer science pedagogy, their potential applications in the high school environment, and strategies to increase participation in computer science by women and underrepresented minorities.

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