In 2016, we set out to learn more about computer science in afterschool programs. What did we find? Afterschool programs really want to provide computer science to their students! A full 97 percent of programs that had offered computing in the past said they were “extremely likely” or “likely” to offer it again, and 89 percent of programs that had never offered computing education rated their interest in offering such programming as “high” or “medium.”
However, there are common obstacles that get in the way. First of all, computer science can be intimidating — especially for educators without a background in the computing field — and finding knowledgeable staff can be difficult. Beyond that, finding a quality and affordable curriculum can be a challenge, especially for programs that have never offered computer science before.
In the past few years there has been a lot of progress in creating computer science resources for afterschool and summer programs to make it easier for providers to offer computer science options to their students, but there is still a long way to go. So, we took the first steps and compiled a guide to get you started. Here is a sneak peak of some of the tips and resources:
Activities and curriculum
ICT4me is an afterschool and summer curriculum for middle schoolers to develop Information Communication and Technology (ICT) fluency, interest in mathematics, and knowledge of ICT careers.
Develop your skills and connect with others
ScratchEd is an online community where Scratch educators share stories, exchange resources, ask questions, and find people.
Standards for computer science and technology
K–12 Computer Science Framework provides the foundation for a complete computer science curriculum, including frameworks for afterschool and summer programs, and its implementation at the K–12 level.
Grow your unterstanding
STEMtistics from Change the Equation is an ongoing project that provides research and information on computer science and STEM education and creates easily accessible infographics.
For full information on computing activities, curriculum, and resources, check out Connecting to Computer Science: A Resource for Afterschool Practitioners!