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‘Bot Diggity: r-one Robots For All

Bot Diggity robotsThey clean floors, deliver drinks, fetch like puppies, even tell jokes. But can personal robots improve engineering education?

James McLurkin, an assistant professor of computer science at Rice University, certainly thinks so. And no wonder. The pioneer of swarming robotics has seen his bagel-size ’bot transform an introductory engineering course into an unabashedly fun way to convey circuits, mechanics, and other core concepts.

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Girls Who Code Summer Program

Girls Who Code logoApply by February 12, 2015 to attend the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, a free, seven-week course of intensive instruction for high school sophomores and juniors in robotics, Web design, and mobile app development. The program also includes mentoring, demos, field trips, and workshops led by the computer industry’s top female entrepreneurs and engineers.

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New Tool for Teaching Kids to Code

kid coding computerTo encourage more schools to teach computer science, the nonprofit Code.org has launched Code Studio — a set of tools, lesson plans, and curriculum to help students in kindergarten through high school explore the underlying concepts behind coding. The site includes a dashboard for teachers to monitor their students’ progress.

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Google Funding for K-12 Computer Science

google RISE logoApplications for the 2014 Google RISE (Roots in Science and Engineering) Awards are due September 30. Organizations can receive up to $50,000 to expand successful K-12 computer science programs or include computer science in STEM programs aimed at girls and underrepresented minorities.

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Computer Science Education Week 2013

computer code screen Computing is all around us, from movies to manufacturing to marketing. But only a handful of Americans learn how computers work or can create software, websites, or applications. Computer Science Education Week (December 9-15, 2013) aims to change that equation. This year’s effort: an Hour of Code that organizers hope will engage 10 million students.

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Code Calling

web color chart Computer science has the highest pay for new college graduates, twice the national average job growth of more than double the national average, and applications that stretch from rock music to medicine. Yet 9 in 10 schools don’t teach programming. Code.org hopes to change that with a host of free resources to get kids as young as four creating websites and apps.

The answer is computer programming, and advocates from Microsoft founder Bill Gates to former president Bill Clinton are pushing to include it in the K-12 curriculum.

Far from being complicated algorithms only a geek could master, code writing can be learned by just about anyone — even four-year-olds. Code.org has compiled a host of websites, courses, and other free resources to help students hone programming skills from building websites to creating phone apps. There also are tips for using code writing and programming projects and activities in math or science classes to cover content standards.

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England Mulls Coding for All Kids

one laptop per childComputer programming in kindergarten? Code writing is just one of several new skills England’s children would be taught, according to the final version of an overhauled national curriculum released on July 8.

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Nominate STEM Teachers for Presidential Award

presidential awardsNominate an outstanding mathematics, science, or computer science teacher for the 2013 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Nominations for teachers in grades 7 to 12 are due April 1.

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CS2N: Computer Science Student Network

CS2NFrom art to aerospace, computer science plays a vital role in virtually every field and innovation. Yet few U.S. students pursue computer science or engineering degrees. The Computer Science Student Network (CS2N), a collaborative research project between Carnegie Mellon University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), aims to change that with a site full of engaging activities, competitions, step-by-step programming lessons, animation software, and free courses for teachers.

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