Posts tagged ‘BPC’

New solicitation for NSF STEM-C: Emphasis on K-12 and Integration with Other STEM Disciplines

The new NSF STEM-C solicitation is out: See http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15537/nsf15537.htm.

The introduction to the new solicitation is visionary and speaks of the power of computing in STEM and for all students.  Here’s just the first paragraph:

The STEM + Computing (STEM+C) Partnerships program seeks to advance a 21st century conceptualization of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that includes computing. The “+ Computing” notation emphasizes that computing is integral to the practice of all the other STEM disciplines. In this solicitation, computing refers to the whole set of fundamental concepts and skills that will allow students to creatively apply and adapt computation across a range of application domains, to “bend digital technology to one’s needs, purposes, and will.”

The focus of this solicitation is primarily on integration of computing with other STEM education disciplines, and secondarily, on computing education in K-12 (including teachers).  The prioritization is pretty clear from the budget limits:

The maximum total budget for Track 1: Integration of Computing in STEM Education awards is $2.5 million for Design and Development awards, $1.25 million for Exploratory Integration awards, and $250,000 for Field-Building Conferences and Workshops. The maximum total budget for Track 2: Computing Education Knowledge and Capacity Building awards is $600,000 for Research on Education and Broadening Participation awards and $1.0 million for CS 10K awards.

You can get up to $1.25M USD to explore integration of computing in STEM ($2.5M to design and develop), but at most $1M to put computing into schools and at most $600K to do research on computing education and broadening participation.  We might argue about the ratios, but in the end, both tracks and all the types of proposals have enough funding to do important work that needs to happen.

January 19, 2015 at 8:06 am 3 comments

African-American students preference for graphical or text-based programming languages depended on career goals

One of the results from Betsy DiSalvo’s dissertation on Glitch (see a post on that work) that I found most interesting was that there wasn’t a clear winner between graphical, drag-and-drop programming (Alice) and text-based programming (Python).  She has now written up that part of the dissertation work, and it’s linked below.

Cursor_and_Betsy-Alice-Python_pdf__page_3_of_4_

To determine appropriate computer science curricula, educators sought to better understand the different affordances of teaching with a visual programming language (Alice) or a text-based language (Jython). Although students often preferred one language, that language wasn’t necessarily the one from which they learned the most.

via IEEE Xplore Abstract – Graphical Qualities of Educational Technology: Using Drag-and-Drop and Text-Based Programs for Intro….

January 12, 2015 at 8:39 am 4 comments

STEM: Closing the Gender Gap | Pearson

Colleagues at Pearson asked me to share this announcement with you.

Join Pearson and learning leaders from Higher Ed, K–12, and STEM industries in Silicon Valley to discuss strategies for closing the gender gap in STEM. We’ve partnered with Google, Code.org, Maker Ed, Girls Who Code, and the City of San Francisco to bring you lively discussions and presentations on how educators and industry leaders can work together to close the gap in STEM education and STEM careers.

Event Highlights

  • Keynote presented by Mona Akmal, Director of Product at Code.org
  • Google presentation of the company’s research report Women Who Choose Computer Science—What Really Matters
  • Google campus tour
  • Panel discussion featuring Susan Nesbitt from Girls Who Code & Patrick Mitchell from TechSF, City & County of San Francisco
  • Presentation about the gender gap’s economic implications by J. Robert Gillette, Associate Professor of Economics, Gatton College of Business & Economics, University of Kentucky
  • Presentation “Imagine a World Where Women Feel Safe: Break the Silence” by Deborah Acosta, Chief Innovation Officer for the City of San Leandro
  • Panel discussion, moderated by Lisa Regalla, National Program Manager at Maker Ed, featuring secondary-school and college women discussing their interest in STEM careers, mentorship, and other topics
  • via STEM: Closing the Gender Gap | Pearson.

January 9, 2015 at 7:45 am 1 comment

Research about Gender in the STEM Workplace: An Annotated Bibliography

Below is just a bit of a really terrific annotated bibliography about gender in the STEM workplace — including a lot on computer science.  Great resource!

Science Faculty’s Subtle Gender Biases Favor Male Students by Corinne A. Moss-Racusina et al. In a study with 127 science faculty at research-intensive universities, candidates with identical resumes were more likely to be offered a job and paid more if their name was “John” instead of “Jennifer.” The gender of the faculty participating did not impact the outcome.

How Stereotypes Impair Women’s Careers in Science by Ernesto Reuben et al.Men are much more likely than women to be hired for a math task, even when equally qualified. This happens regardless of the gender of the hiring manager.

Measuring the Glass Ceiling Effect: An Assessment of Discrimination in Academia by Katherine Weisshaar. In computer science, men are significantly more likely to earn tenure than women with the same research productivity. [From a summary]

A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT by the Committee on Women Faculty. Reveals significant differences in terms of the distribution of resources and rewards to faculty by gender.

via Slow Searching: Research about Gender in the STEM Workplace.

January 8, 2015 at 8:37 am 2 comments

On Nerd Entitlement: Those who feel underprivileged are now the privileged

Interesting blog post about a discussion going on with MIT Professor Scott Aaronson on his blog (see here). The point of the post linked below is that some white males may feel underprivileged, attacked because of their geekiness as kids, but are actually in-charge now. Those who felt underprivileged are now privileged and may not realize it, and that might be what’s making it so hard to change computing culture.  (Later update in The Chronicle blog here.)

Scott, imagine what it’s like to have all the problems you had and then putting up with structural misogyny on top of that. Or how about a triple whammy: you have to go through your entire school years again but this time you’re a lonely nerd who also faces sexism and racism. This is why Silicon Valley is fucked up. Because it’s built and run by some of the most privileged people in the world who are convinced that they are among the least. People whose received trauma makes them disinclined to listen to pleas from people whose trauma was compounded by structural oppression. People who don’t want to hear that there is anyone more oppressed than them, who definitely don’t want to hear that maybe women and people of colour had to go through the hell of nerd puberty as well, because they haven’t recovered from their own appalling nerdolescence. People who definitely don’t want to hear that, smart as they are, there might be basic things about society that they haven’t understood, because they have been prevented from understanding by the very forces that caused them such pain as children.

via On Nerd Entitlement.

January 7, 2015 at 7:37 am 11 comments

Makers are mostly rich white guys: Broadening participation in computing requires formal education

“I’m tired of organizations being set up to tell young women and young brown and black men that they should aspire to be young white men.”

Leah Buechley makes a compelling case in the below video that the Maker movement is not reaching the kind of audience that we might have hoped for.  It’s mostly talking to “rich white guys.”  This is another example of what Fields and Kafai were talking about at WIPSCE 2014 (see my description here) — informal education mostly attracts the most privileged groups.  Here’s an interesting blog post on how to create Maker spaces that bridging gaps.

December 17, 2014 at 7:59 am 2 comments

The by-gender vs by-discipline view of women in STEM from Valerie Barr #CSEdWeek

Valerie Barr has written a Blog@CACM post (linked below) where she considers a by-gender view of women earning STEM or CS, vs the more traditional by-discipline view.  She’s computing the number of degrees who go to women in CS over all the degrees that women earn.  It’s an interesting argument and well-worth exploring.

My concern about this perspective is that it’s politically more complicated when arguing for resources to promote women in computing.  You only grow the by-gender number by convincing women not to go into a different field — it’s a share of all women on-campus/graduating.  That puts you in a tug of war with others on campus.  In a by-discipline perspective, you can improve your share by drawing more women in (or by the number of men decreasing, as seems to have happened in our CM degree, see here).

While the by-discipline view of STEM degrees is far from rosy, this by-gender view of the data facilitates a more accurate assessment of the situation for women in STEM, and we can build on this to understand the ways in which the by-discipline view can mislead. If there were parity between men and women in STEM disciplines then they would graduate with degrees in those fields at the same rate relative to the size of their respective pools. We see this only in Biology where the graduation rate is almost equal (7% of women’s 2012 degrees were earned in Biology versus 6.77% of men’s 2012 degrees). In all other STEM fields men earned degrees at a higher rate and women are far from parity.

via Women in STEM, Women in Computer Science: We’re Looking At It Incorrectly | blog@CACM | Communications of the ACM.

December 12, 2014 at 8:32 am 3 comments

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