Matt Bauer, associate dean of IIT College of Science and Letters and a senior instructor of computer science, is part of a national initiative to develop a new computer science Advanced Placement (AP) course to expand participation in computing to more women and underrepresented minorities.
Bauer will travel to Las Vegas this week to meet with fellow educators from the University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and high school educators from around the country to discuss the new course and results thus far from pilot projects, including those at IIT. The new AP Computer Science Principles class has been taught twice at IIT (spring 2012 and spring 2013) to 45 students. In Las Vegas, the educators also will develop standards for portfolio creation and grading as well as materials to roll out the class to thousands of high schools.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $5.2 million to the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program to create the new course, which will be rolled out to high school students in 2016.
“A key goal is to expand beyond programming and data structures to include ‘big ideas’ as computing as a creative activity and computational thinking practices such as analyzing ideas and artifacts,” says Bauer.