How can we encourage young women and students from under-represented backgrounds to consider careers in computer science (CS), a field still struggling to expand its diversity? Since 2012, University of Delaware’s Partner4CS project has answered this question in part by beginning with the classroom.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the interdisciplinary Partner4CS team in UD’s departments of computer science and education leverages partners throughout Delaware to broaden participation in CS. One component of this project is Partner4CS’s annual Professional Development Summer Workshop, a paid, five-day training session for teachers in grades 4-12 interested in integrating CS into their curricula.
Significantly, this workshop is not only open to current teachers of CS. This June, the Partner4CS team welcomed nearly 50 teachers from a range of disciplines, including science, technology, engineering, and math. Teachers from across the state of Delaware attended, as well as international participants from Saudi Arabia.