NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing
“The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing offers both a national and local “affiliate” competitions to generate support and visibility for women’s participation in communities nationwide. ”
September 13, 2010 is when the application process will open.
Preparing Your Application PDF - this will help to get an application ready
The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is a great program and all Computer Science teachers should encourage all of the girls in their respective Computer Science programs to apply. We have lots of girls in the Computer Science program at my school and they will all be encouraged to participate in the application process.
One of our girls was an award winner last year and was quite honored. My high school and district recognized her accomplishment and worked very hard to publicize her award. It meant a lot to her. The other Computer Science students thought she was quite the celebrity.
Video Game Data Mining
Online gaming services not only host the games, but also record the playing of the games. Apparently, the data mined from the recorded game play helps to provide the designers with ideas. Makes good sense to analyze this data, but is still a bit on the creepy side.
This is a really interesting article that I am going to discuss this week with my Computer Science classes. We are starting some game projects and this is a great lead in and conversation piece. Most all of my students play online games so I am curious to see how they respond to this article.
Gamers Help Solve Medical Problems
Protein Game Site
This is really cool! It makes sense to use a game to solve a problem as problem-solving is a essential part of playing any game.
I have made several posts about using games to teach Computer Science and the benefits. I have been using basic games, complex games, and the theory and logic behind them to teach Computer Science and problem-solving concepts in my classes for a long time. Games, like bowling, are just good family fun. Games are interesting and get students excited and they require serious thought and planning to build. I have my students build a sliding puzzle project in GridWorld and use it as a stepping stone to talk about using priority queues and the A* algorithm to write an automated solver. The A* algorithm is a fun algorithm to learn and can be used for lots of different games and such. Yes, I did just use algorithm and fun in the same sentence and meant to do it! The games are the hook and the rest of the concepts just fall into place.
Sliding Puzzle Image
CS Education Act Press Release
The link above is to the press release detailing the Computer Science Education Act.
New Bill Focuses on Lack of CS Grads
The CS Ed Act should provide a much needed focus on CS education. This article discusses the act and its possibilities. This is an interesting development and one that quite a few different groups support. Anything that can get some attention focused on Computer Science Education is a good thing and it is even better when the plan makes sense.
The article also poses the question concerning the affects standardization could have on those programs that take a more non-standard creative approach to teaching the subject. I like the reference to making the program “sexier” in the description of the Porter-Gaud CS program. I have said quite few times that Computer Science programs need to be “sexier” if you want students to sign up. Computer Science has lots to offer but learning needs to be engaging and entertaining or students are just not going to get involved.
Most High Schools Lack Quality CS Programs
This is another interesting article that kind of piggy backs on the one listed above. I spoke with Erik when he was working on the article and he makes some really nice points about the issues facing Computer Science education. He spoke to quite a few people and has some really nice data included.