Tag Archives: K-12 EDUCATION

Computer Science Faculty, Students Teach Kids to Code

1481146201Charles Wallace and Leo Ureel, along with two of their graduate students and six undergraduates in Computer Science, are spending time in Houghton and Hancock schools this week, giving elementary, middle and high school students hands-on experience with computer coding.

The programs are in observance of Computer Science Education Week. They include two Hour of Code events at Houghton Elementary School, one multi-day event at Houghton High School and one at Hancock Middle School. At each Hour of Code, students learn to write code, primarily using the Scratch programming language.

“We are using a tutorial developed by Michigan Tech alumna Nichole Yarroch,” Wallace said. “We are also letting students know about Computer Science and Software Engineering degrees at Tech, as well as our Copper Country Coders group that meets on the weekends.”

This is the third year that CS faculty and students have conducted Hour of Code programs at local schools.


Code Ninjas Workshop Saturday

1474851781The Code Ninjas Workshop for middle school girls is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Rheki 112.

Interested in virtual reality? Code Ninjas is for girls interested in programming computers, making and playing games,concerned about the environment and you.

Participants will learn about bees, learn to program in Processing, learn how their program can make a difference, talk to role models who program in their jobs and meet other young women interested in programming.

This workshop will focus on learning to program with an environmental theme: What is happening to the bees?  We will design 3D simulations and games around the theme of bees.

Then participants will view the games in an Oculus Rift interactive virtual reality. Included in the workshop are sessions teaching girls how to program computers, an expert will discuss the environmental crisis facing bees, and panel of programmers from industry will discuss their experiences.

The following is a tentative schedule for the workshop.

9 – 10:30 a.m. Introduction to 3D Programming

Students will learn to draw simple 3D shapes.  We will teach them how to use setup and draw methods, data types, and variables. Students will use graphics and colors to make a simple scene.

10:30 – 11a.m. Presentation about bees

A Michigan Tech student who studies hive-collapse disorder will talk to girls about things that impact bees, and how they can help bees to continue to pollinate our food supply.

11 a.m. – noon Programming with Objects

Girls will be introduced to objects and classes.  They will learn to use objects and the functions and variables inside of classes.  Girls will learn how to make a plan for their simulation and divide in into smaller steps that can be done sequentially.

Noon – 1:00 Lunch

1 – 2 p.m.  Programming

Girls will program their own simulations and will work by themselves or in small groups.

2 – 2:30 p.m. Role-model Interviews

Girls will meet women who have careers/educational backgrounds in computer science, and will be able to ask them questions.

2:30 – 3 p.m. Programming

Girls will continue programming their own simulations and will work by themselves or in small groups.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Oculus Showcase!

Girls will demo their code in the Oculus Rift.   Parents are welcome to come at 4:00 to see their daughter’s simulation.

4:30 p.m. Parent pick-up.

Sarah Larkin-Driscoll and Miriam Eikenberry-Ureel, local high school students and Michigan regional winners of the prestigious NCWIT Aspirations Award, will present the workshop. They aim to teach middle school girls how to write programs that can be displayed in a 3D space.

This workshop is sponsored by an AspireIT grant from the National Center for Women & Information Technology and facilitated by the Michigan Technological University Computer Science Department.

Read more at Tech Today.


Teachers plan to educate computer sciences to all ages

Tech+WorkshopHOUGHTON Teachers are spreading knowledge of computer science into their classrooms. More than 30 teachers are on Michigan Tech’s campus to learn how.

A three day workshop is taking place for teachers from all grade levels across the state and surrounding areas. They’re learning the basic understanding of computer science. Including programming and coding. Teachers are also being taught how to increase interest in computer science among girls.

“More women are becoming involved because they’re required to take computer science and they discover that they enjoy programming,” said workshop instructor, Linda Ott.

“When they’re not required to take it they often shy away from it and they don’t realize that they might be interested.”

Read more at Upper Michigan’s Source, by Aleah Hordges.


Linda Ott blogs on STEM

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Linda Ott, Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean for Special Initiatives in the College of Sciences and Arts, was welcomed as a guest blogger on STEMconnector.org.

STEMconnector.org seeks to bring science, technology, engineering, and math educators a way to connect their ideas to improve STEM education. In The Thrill of Computer Science For All, Ott details her excitement around President Obama’s initiative to expand K-12 computer science education funding.

“We can make a difference more quickly through a concerted effort to attract more students today.  Here are some of the things we are doing at Michigan Tech.  Perhaps others will find inspiration here for immediate action:

If all of us involved in computing do something—help advise a local FIRST Robotics team, teach a Saturday class on programming at a local library, talk to a local Girl Scout troop, invite area students and parents to see how you actually use programming—there will be an immediate impact.”