What motivates girls to pursue STEM?

It’s a persistent and troubling problem: Why are girls so underrepresented in STEM clubs and subjects in K-12 through college, and why are there so many more men than women in STEM fields?

The call for equal representation is becoming louder, and society is striving to solve glaring gender gaps in STEM graduates and STEM fields across the country. The numbers tell an alarming story about female representation in STEM education and fields.

According to Girls Who Code, fewer than 20 percent of computer science graduates are women. Today, only 24 percent of computer scientists are women, and by 2027, just 22 percent of women will be represented in the field.…Read More

Blog: Technology Creates Dynamic Insights at Tampa Preparatory School

At the Tampa Preparatory School, the mission is to provide students “a preparation for life with a higher purpose than self.” Each classman must abide by an honor code and resolve to make a positive difference both in the school and outside world by being honest, respectful, trustworthy, and fair.

Conversely, the educators and staff at Tampa Prep promise to create a place where young people can Think, Create, Be Themselves, Aspire to Excellence and Go Beyond. Students are encouraged to reflect and analyze on the path to personal understanding. They are asked to celebrate the imagination in geometric proofs and formal essays, on canvas, the computer, and stage, in poetry readings and morning assemblies. They are taught to respect people’s differences. And, they are guided toward winning attitudes in academics, athletics and arts so that they may meet the challenges that exist beyond their communities and experiences.

The academy offers concentrated studies in the academic areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Global Studies and Art.…Read More

Students discover the power of coding

Got Code? This week students across the Rowland Unified School District, along with their families, are continuing their exploration of computer coding and programming by participating in Computer Science Week and the worldwide Hour of Code through December 11. “Hour of Code” is a global movement to expose students to computer science by teaching students a minimum of one hour of computer programming.

The District has launched an entire website devoted to the Hour of Code — www.RUSDcodes.com — so that families can participate in activities at home and students can use it as a resource for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education opportunities throughout the year. The new website features coding games and activities, organized by grade level, for students in grades K-12. There is also a section on Creative Coding that shows students how coding is integrated into music, animation, art & design, along with a variety of resources for both students and teachers, including free coding workshops, challenges, STEM contest invitations and student internships.

“Rowland Unified teachers are excited to continue to provide students innovative learning opportunities through coding/programming in their daily teaching by connecting it across the disciplines,” said Dr. Trisha Callella, Coordinator of Education Technology. “Coding is a powerful language and helps with problem solving and critical thinking skills that all students need whether or not they pursue a career in computer science.”…Read More

Kick off your Hour of Code with Minecraft’s help

Just in time for Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code, Microsoft Corp. and Code.org have unveiled the Minecraft Hour of Code Designer, a coding tutorial for students and educators.

The Hour of Code is an annual global campaign held during Computer Science Education Week, which this year runs Dec. 5–11.

The new web-based tutorial, available for free at http://code.org/minecraft, helps novice coders to create and share their own simple “Minecraft” game, and is designed to empower anyone to begin learning the problem-solving and critical thinking skills required in today’s tech-fueled world.…Read More

CodeCombat adds game, web development to coding platform

CodeCombat, which offers an engaging platform for helping kids learn computer science (CS), has significantly enhanced its platform in time for back to school.

CodeCombat has added major new capabilities including Game Development and Web Development, and quadrupled the number of levels available to users of its original Learn to Code module, giving students plenty of runway to keep enhancing their coding skills.

CodeCombat’s classroom product, which launched just four months ago, is now in use by 45,000 students in grades 4-12 across 1,600 schools in all 50 states – making it one of the fastest-growing companies in the ed tech space.…Read More

4 ways forward-thinking districts are inspiring more students to code

How innovative districts are exposing more students to coding and closing the participation gap

Recently, President Barack Obama announced his administration’s commitment to provide computer science education for all students. Endorsement by the White House is valuable to those new to introducing computer science (CS) in the classroom, as well as others, like members of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, who have championed CS for years.

Members of the League, a coalition of 73 of the most forward-thinking U.S. public school districts, have long prioritized computational thinking and CS education for their students. Thirty League districts, representing over one million students, made commitments to the White House to further the President’s proposal.

Districts in the League have committed to developing thoughtful, long-term solutions to overcome the obstacles that many populations of students face  one of the world’s most important languages. Today’s League leaders are exposing students to computational thinking at a young age, giving current educators the opportunity to get certified, making CS a graduation requirement, and providing out-of-school learning opportunities, all of which are helping to close the participation gap in CS education.…Read More

The Hour of Code’s nationwide momentum

Catch up on the most compelling K-12 news stories you may have missed this week

news-picEach Friday, I’ll be bringing you a recap of some of the most interesting and thought-provoking news developments that occurred over the week.

I can’t fit all of our news stories here, though, so feel free to visit eSchoolNews.com and read up on other news you may have missed.

In this week’s news:…Read More

How to choose the right programming language for students

With Hour of Code at hand, a look at the top programming languages for every age

“Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” -John Woods

programming-languageWay back in the 1970s, working as a computer programmer was quite prestigious, and if you wanted to get into computer programming, your potential employer would more often than not put you through a batch of aptitude tests in order to determine your suitability: even if you had a degree.

Nowadays, programming is more widespread and you don’t need a degree to be a programmer; it’s no longer mainly for scientists and engineers: students studying the humanities, English as a foreign language students, people building websites, and a whole host of other folks are learning to program. This non-technical article will give you novices [non-expert instructors] out there some basic guidance in choosing a programming language that is appropriate not only for your students’ needs, but for faculty and staff interested in online basics.…Read More