TITLE: Off to Visit Google AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: May 28, 2008 1:14 PM DESC: ----- BODY: I'm preparing for a quick visit to the Google campus tomorrow and Friday. This is my first trip to the Google campus, and I have to admit that I'm looking forward to it. To this wide-eyed Midwestern computer scientist, it feels as if I am visiting Camelot. The occasion of my trip is a "roadshow summit" co-sponsored by the Computer Science Teachers Association and SIGCSE, and hosted by Google. The CSTA is a unit of the ACM "that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines" in K-12 schools. The goal of the workshop is:
... to bring together faculty and students who are currently offering, or planning to develop, outreach "road shows" to local K-12 schools. Our goal is to improve the quality and number of college and university-supported careers and equity outreach programs by helping to develop a community that will share research, expertise, and best practices, and create shared resources.
My selfish goal in wanting to attend the workshop initially was to steal lots of good ideas with more experience and creativity than I. My contribution will be to share what we have done in our department, especially over the last semester. I asked two faculty members to develop curricula for K-12 outreach activities, in lieu of one of their usual course assignments. The curriculum materials should be useful whether we take them on the road to the schools or when we have students on campus for visits. One professor started with robotics in mind but quickly switched to some simple programming activities with the Scratch programming environment. The other worked on high-performance and parallel computing for pre-college students, an education thread he has been working in for much of this decade. I do not have a link to materials he developed specifically for our outreach efforts yet, but I can point you to LittleFe, one of his ongoing projects. I'm curious to see what other schools have done and still plan to steal as many ideas as I can! And, while I'm looking forward to the workshop and seeing Google's campus, I am not looking forward to the fast turnaround... My flight leaves tomorrow morning; we work Thursday afternoon, Thursday evening, Friday morning, and Friday early afternoon; and then I start the sojourn back home. I'll cover a lot of miles in forty-eight hours, but I hope they prove fruitful. -----