2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Presenting CS Concepts through Multiple Representations to Engage African-American Elementary School Children

Presented at NEW SESSION Track: Special Topic - Computing & Technology Technical Session 4

This experience report presents elements of an outreach program to elementary school children to broaden participation in computing. The program is based on a unique multi-faceted curriculum that facilitates the presentation of abstract computer science concepts within a summer camp setting. The curriculum exposes the same abstract content to children using different representations and helps them to learn and practice the concepts using a “hands-on” approach. Further, use of multiple representations allows the learning needs of diverse learners to be catered for, considering the grades and ages of the participants. Specifically, we present CS concepts to these children, each in three formats: 1) using motivated real world and everyday examples, 2) elementary graphical programming, and 3) a custom
video game designed to test and exercise concepts in a fun environment. Pretest/posttest analysis show promising trends, including positive changes in attitudes and learning of computational thinking and coding concepts.

  1. Olivia Mambo Nche Clemson University [biography]
  2. Prof. Murali Sitaraman Clemson University [biography]
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