Award Date: May 2010
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Professor Valerie Barr (Chair, Computer Science) a $27,000 Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) supplement. This award is in conjunction with Professor Barr's current NSF CPATH "New Model for Computing Education" grant. The RET supplement will support work during Summer 2010 by two teachers from Bard High School Early College (BHSEC), in New York City. The RET teachers would focus on two activities which mirror the work we are doing at Union College. One would adapt a Union College introductory CS course (Can Computers Think?, an artificial intelligence themed course) for the early college program at BHSEC. This is the result of review by last summer's RET teachers of Union's five introductory CS courses. The other RET teacher would infuse computation in a course taken by students in the high school program. This latter effort would give students important exposure to uses of computation in the context of another discipline, building directly on our work in summer 2009 and academic 2009-2010 with several math courses at BHSEC. The proposed RET project would lead to a new introductory CS course at BHSEC and modifications to the year-long Physics with Calculus course. The RET teachers will be able to consult with Union College faculty in the CS department as well as with faculty from numerous other departments who, under the CPATH grant, have added computational components to their courses.