Watson Chronicle


Education Updates and Features

Computer Science Workshop - CS4HS, Funded by Google

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Seven years ago, WCE’s Instructional Technology (IT) and Computer Science faculty began using the Squeak Etoys program to improve math and science learning concepts. They found that this free, open-source software is a tool that can enhance STEM education for upper elementary, middle and high school age students.

Google agrees.  This summer, through their global Computer Science for High School (CS4HS) initiative, Google funded a Watson College workshop promoting the use of Squeak Etoys as a means of enhancing student knowledge of math, science and engineering through computer science exploration.

WCE Professor Dr. Mahnaz Moallem, in collaboration with Drs. Sridhar Narayan and Gene Tagliarini (computer science), Mr. Christopher Gordon (CESTEM) and Ms. Karen Hill (WCE), led the July workshop, which involved 30-hours of in-person study and collaboration on campus, plus 14 hours of on-line work.  There were 26 workshop participants, and 12 in-service teachers plus 5 inspired pre-service and IT students completed the intensive program.

WCE’s IT Department hopes to find funding to offer the Computer Science workshop again next summer.  In the meantime, they will continue to use Squeak Etoys to advance STEM education in area schools. 

Note: Squeak Etoys, originally developed by Allen Kay at Apple and Disney Imagineering in the 1990’s uses tile based scripting as the foundation of a sandbox programming environment which allows students to create an endless variety of projects.  For more information please visit www.squeakland.org