ROCK SPRINGS – Western will host a four-day teachers’ workshop on Scalable Game Design as part of a Google-sponsored computer science education program called CS4HS (Computer Science for High School) that seeks to introduce computational thinking and computer programming skills to Wyoming middle- and high-school students. The workshop will run from Wednesday, Aug. 12, through Saturday, Aug. 15, and a press conference with program officials is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 14, at 3 p.m. in Room 1333 at the Rock Springs campus.
WWCC Associate Professor of Information Technology Carla Hester-Croff has collaborated with Wyoming schools for the past several years to introduce project-based game design activities into their computer-science curriculum. Her efforts are part of a larger Scalable Design project based at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Scalable Design uses video-game design as a point of entry into computer science and programming for students who are then encouraged to enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles courses.
“There is a great need for skilled employees in various computer-related jobs, and we must educate our future generation to take on these positions,” Hester-Croff said.
This month’s four-day workshop, funded by Google’s CS4HS program, will help teachers to incorporate Scalable Design into their classroom curriculum. During the workshop, teachers will learn how to program games using the Scalable Game Design curriculum and tools, and how to effectively teach those programming and thinking skills to students, while making connections between Scalable Game Design and the AP-CSP course.
“We will work with teachers, schools, and students to build the pipeline of individuals with interest and experience in computing and computer science in Wyoming, so that students can gain skills that will help them choose to become a part of the fast-growing computer-science job market,” said UC Boulder project manager Yasko Endo. “By participating in Scalable Game Design activities, Wyoming will begin to build a student population that can be a part of, and succeed in, the new high school Advanced Placement course called Computer Science Principles (AP-CSP), which will introduce them to college-level computer science and computing.”
About Scalable Game Design Google CS4HS Wyoming
The mission of Scalable Game Design and Google CS4HS Wyoming is to help reinvent and invigorate computer science education in the state through innovative, engaging and motivating game-design programming and computational-thinking activities that research has proven to be effective. Scalable Game Design is in its seventh year of conducting National Science Foundation-funded research and Google-funded outreach in the United States.
In 2014, research participants included 60 schools and organizations, 71 classroom teachers, and more than 3,500 students.