From art to aerospace to medicine, computer science plays a vital role in virtually every field and innovation. Computation helps engineers design safer structures. It drives complex Wall Street transactions and Hollywood blockbuster special effects.
Despite the need for computer scientists and software engineers, however, the number of U.S. college graduates with advanced computer science, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (CS-STEM) degrees has declined significantly. Fewer high schools now offer computer science courses than they did in 2005.
Enter the Computer Science Student Network (CS2N) to fill the breach. A collaborative research project between Carnegie Mellon University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the CS2N site is full of engaging activities, competitions, step-by-step programming lessons, and other fun ideas designed to inspire more students to pursue advanced CS-STEM degrees. One novel feature, still under development, draws on the motivational aspects of gaming and lets students earn online “badges” that lead to certification. For educators, there is downloadable animation software and free courses on programming robots, creating animated videos, and more. Summer’s featured contest: Prehistoric web page design.
Tags: Carnegie Mellon University, Competitions for Students, computation, computer animation, Computer Engineering, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Computer Science Students Network, CS-STEM, CS2N, DARPA, Software