Throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, teaching computer science at the high school and middle school level presents diverse challenges. For example, in Africa, teachers have limited access to training and curriculum resources. In the U.K. or Germany, teachers sometimes struggle to keep up with fast changing technology or have difficulty demonstrating that computer science can be a rewarding and “cool” career choice.
To help teachers address these challenges, the annual Google CS4HS (Computer Science for High School) grant program provides funding to universities, community colleges, and technical schools to work with local high schools in order to give teachers the tools they need to bring computer science and computational thinking into the classroom.
With the CS4HS grant from Google, faculty can develop three to five day hands-on, interactive workshops for teachers to learn how to teach computer science (CS) to their students. Some programs are geared toward CS teachers, while others are for non-CS teachers who want to incorporate CS into their curriculum. No two programs are exactly alike, and it is the creative and passionate material that organizers develop which makes this program so unique—and successful.
In 2012, the CS4HS program funded 50 computer science education projects across 28 countries in EMEA. This enabled some very exciting projects which collectively impacted thousands of teachers and their students. Strathmore University hosted teacher training workshops in rural areas in Kenya, introducing attendees to basic computing concepts and improvements to teaching methods. TU Delft invited computer science specialists from research and industry to discuss the latest developments and present teaching material and tools that can be used in the classroom. At King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, high school female students learnt more about computer science concepts and computer science as a field of study.
2013 marks the fifth consecutive year for the CS4HS program. Hundreds of students and thousands of teachers have attended these workshops to date. The alumni are connected to each other, other educators and organizers through the teacher’s forum, which also enables teachers interested in CS education to join the discussion and ask questions.
The application for 2013 funding is now open until February 16, 2013. Each region has a slightly different application process, so visit www.cs4hs.com to find specific details for your region, as well as information on the types of projects that are funded and the requirements for the application proposal.
We’re excited to help even more educators learn how to bring CS to their students, whether they’re teaching CS, maths, history, or any other subject. Together, we can help inspire the next generation of Computer Scientists.
Posted by Michelle Finnegan, EMEA University Relations