Workshop targets high school teachers to increase interest in computing

A new summer workshop at Purdue hopes to strengthen the pipeline of students interested in a college degree in computing.

Coordinated by the Department of Computer and Information Technology, the Tapestry Workshop invites high school computing teachers to campus to help them with strategies to get students interested in computing courses.

“The program is aimed at increasing the number of high school students who take some computing classes and leave high school knowing that information technology and computer science are options for them,” said Dawn Laux, clinical assistant professor of computer and information technology. “We want them to gain appreciation for the subject and like it.”  Laux and Angie Murphy, assistant to the department head, are organizing the workshop.

Participants will learn strategies, research-based practices, and field-tested good ideas for teaching computer science in a way that reaches all students regardless of sex or ethnicity.

“We will address how they advertise and attract students and how they can use after-school activities and competitions to their benefit,” said Fatma Mili, professor and head of the Department of Computer and Information Technology.

The workshop will also serve as a showcase for Purdue’s programs. Organizers hope to strengthen relationships with the teachers and their programs to increase awareness with their students.

Funding for the program was provided by the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), and Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).  The Tapestry workshop is free to participants, and they receive a small stipend after completing it. Five Tapestry workshops are being offered across the country this summer.

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