Researchers from Bradley University and the Rochester Institute of Technology recently launched a five-year study, using $1.9 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, that will examine the long-term impact of computing activities for K-12 students.
“To increase the
number of skilled tech workers, we need to have effective practices for
engaging students, as well as piquing and holding their interest so that they
pursue it as a career,” Bradley associate professor of game design Monica McGill said. She is leading the study with RIT assistant professor of interactive games and media Adrienne Decker.
programs run by government agencies, commercial groups and nonprofits have
cropped up to provide young students with a computing education, but little
research has been done to ensure that these programs are having a long-term
“Seeing the explosion
of these organizations, the questions we naturally asked were, ‘Does this work
and what parts are working best?’” Decker said. “There is little to no
longitudinal data that exists, so we are setting out to find the answers…It’s
important that young people are not just consumers of technology, but also
creators of technology. We don’t want everyone to become a programmer, but they
do need to understand how to use these tools and push technology further in
their chosen field.”
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