Congratulations to Fran Trees, who recently received two new grants.

The first is an NSF CE 21 Grant (Computing Ed for the 21st Century) “Collaborative Research: CS10K: Infusing Cooperative Learning into Computer Science Principles Courses to Promote Engagement and Diversity.” The total amount of the grant is $854,484.00, and it is a collaborative effort with Dr. Jeff Gray, University of Alabama and Dr. Owen Astrachan, Duke University. The project aims at infusing Collaborative Learning (CL) into the new AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) courses. The curriculum framework for CSP was designed to be engaging to a broad and diverse group of students. However, curriculum alone is not enough to ensure student engagement: the most interesting and innovative curriculum can still be taught in a disengaged manner. The learning science literature on CL has shown that it increases class participation and student learning while also promoting diversity in a manner that supports the differentiated instruction needed to engage students who have mixed abilities. This project seeks to understand how the best practices of CL can be applied across the CSP curriculum framework and community. The project duration is January 2015 – December 2017. More information at: 

The second grant is an ACM SIGCSE Special Projects Grant for $4,300.00 for “Creating Successful Computing Clubs in NJ Middle and Elementary Schools” This Special Project provides professional development to 20 middle school and elementary school teachers in the area of computing concepts with the goals of having these teachers initiate a computer club or integrate computing concepts in their current curriculum. The funding provides professional development and ongoing support and mentoring to these middle school and elementary school teachers. The ultimate goal is to involve these teachers in the creation a Computer Club Guidebook to present to NJ State Department of Education for implementation in other schools statewide. We expect to display posters describing student involvement at Rutgers Day 2015.