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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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Lesson: Bits & Binary

binaryIn this activity, students in grades 4 – 12 will do math like a computer. They will learn the basics of binary number systems by writing and then counting on their hands, and use their knowledge to decode numbers and letters.

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Event: Computer Science Education Week

CSEdWeekCSEdWeek 2011 celebrates the impact of computing and the need for computer science education. The week incorporates events and resources for students, teachers, parents, administrators, college and university reps, and industry. When: December 4-11, 2011.

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STEM Video Game Challenge Names Winners

Winner and Cousins Test GameTwelve students have won the National STEM Video Game Challenge, according to Education Week. They include a team of students who developed a game called, “You Make Me Sick!” to teach about bacteria and viruses. Inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the contest aims to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passions for playing and making video games.

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Students’ Summer: Science and Math in New Hampshire. July 5-29, 2010.

Project SmartProject SMART (Science and Mathematics Achievement through Research Training) is a 4-week Summer Institute at the University of New Hampshire, July 5-29, 2011, for talented high school students in grades 10 and 11. It challenges, educates, and motivates students in science and mathematics while acquainting them with the environment and resources of the University as a place for higher education and research. Cost: $3,000 for full four weeks, $2,500 without weekend stays.Applications accepted until all places are filled.

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