Interim Report: Afterschool and Expanded Learning Computer Coding Opportunities generates significant findings during Summer Pilots
RALEIGH, NC (January 5, 2015) – The Public School Forum of North Carolina, through its NC Center for Afterschool Programs, in partnership with Fayetteville State University’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Startup High launched a pilot program with a goal of exposing more female and minority students to computer science and entrepreneurship. The project was also designed to provide training for school teachers and afterschool/expanded learning professionals to engage in collaboration techniques around computer coding applicable both for in and out of school time. The pilot project, Minorities Exploring Computer Science (MECS), was made possible thanks to a micro-grant from Google.
In assessing the effectiveness of the pilot on student self-efficacy as it relates to computer science, a pre- and post survey was developed to identify: Confidence in learning computer science and programming, Attitude toward success in computer science; Computer science as a male domain; Usefulness of computer science & programming; and Effective motivation in computer science and programming. Pre- and Post survey questions on students’ recommendation for best time to participate, desire to take virtual computer science courses, and eMentoring were also collected.
MECS Participant Demographics
Students who participated in the MECS Summer Pilot were 66% African-Americans, 10% Asian/Pacific Islander, 8% Hispanic American, and 4% Caucasian; 76% of the students were male and 24% were female, with 52% Freshmen, 20% Sophmores, 8% Juniors, and 12% Seniors. Over 47% of the students never attempted any type of programming or coding concept in their past.
After participating in MECS, the majority of students:
- Were confident about attempting computer programming & felt that they were good at computer programming.
- Acknowledged that with hard work, they could learn programming.
- Believed that computer programming was relevant as well as important to their life & future career.
- Believed that computer science was not a waste of time.
- Stated that females were as good as males at programming and it would not be strange or peculiar for women to be engaged in computer science.
- Believed that females could excel in computer science and that they would have equal confidence in an answer for a programming problem solved by a male or woman.
Interested in Participating
- $500.00 stipend for healthy snacks, student programming notebook, Synergy 2015 registration, and other program costs.
- Programs must be in Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, or Caldwell County and serve students grades 9-12
- Registration for pilot participation : http://bit.ly/17dXoGN
- Pilot contact: Dr. Sherrice Allen: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Public School Forum of North Carolina
The Public School Forum is a non-profit policy think tank formed in 1985 to bring business people, policymakers, and educators together to focus on educational innovations and research. Its Mission is “to shape a world-class public school education that supports all children in reaching their full potential and drives a vibrant North Carolina economy.” Some of the programs affiliated with the Forum's portfolio include the North Carolina Institute for Education Policymakers, the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs, and the Education Policy Fellowship Program. The Forum also produces policy reports and analyses, including the annual North Carolina Local School Finance Report. For details on the Forum's work, visit the website at http://www.ncforum.org/