Maryland Center for Computing Education Grants $43,000 to Hood

Money to fund Hood’s Computational Thinking Partnership

FREDERICK, Maryland—Hood College has been awarded $43,000 from the Maryland Center for Computing Education (MCCE) to lead a Computational Thinking Partnership (CTP) with Frederick County Public Schools, Frederick Community College and Maryland Codes.

Twenty-five participants from Hood, FCPS and FCC will receive professional development addressing the K-12 Computer Science Framework and Maryland’s K-12 Computer Science Standards through a 37.5-hour, six-day educational experience. Designed and delivered by Hood computer science and education faculty, FCPS specialists and Maryland Codes partners, this training will help students learn how to integrate computer science into K-8 STEM curriculum and teaching.

The training will be tailored to students who have no prior knowledge of computer science, and it will cover topics such as networks and the internet, system relationships, human-computer interaction, and privacy and security. Participants will engage in basic computer science activities first as students and then look at the same activities as teachers. They will envision implementing these activities in the K-8 classroom, and they will think about challenges they could face, how to support students who are learning computational thinking and computer science, and how to incorporate these ideas into the already full curriculum.

“This grant will enable Hood computer science and education faculty to develop hands-on, immersive, professional learning experiences for Hood’s and FCC’s preservice as well as FCPS’ inservice teachers,” said Jennifer Cuddapah, Ed.D., associate professor of education at Hood and the lead on this grant. “Participants will learn about the fundamental principles of computer science and computational thinking. They will receive a mini-grant to design and enact a computer science project in their grades K-8 classrooms during the fall.”

Other key Hood College personnel in this grant are Christy Graybeal, Ph.D., associate professor of education and mathematics; Jiang Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science; and Paulette Shockey, Ph.D., assistant professor of education.

Hood’s support and collaborations with FCPS, FCC, and Maryland Codes make this a unique program in the region. The 25 participant slots will be filled from the applicant pool of Hood and FCC education students and FCPS mentors.

This grant supports Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s push to advance computer science workforce development in Maryland. Current estimates indicate that there are more than 500,000 open computing jobs across the country and over 115,000 total computer science-related jobs in Maryland.

The MCCE is designed to expand access to high-quality Pre-Kindergarten-12 computing education by strengthening educator skills and increasing the number of computer science teachers in elementary and secondary education.

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