Fayetteville State Lands Grant to Promote CS with Neighborhood Kids

A North Carolina university is partnering with a recreation center down the block from campus to teach elementary and middle school kids in the neighborhood how to code. Fayetteville State University's School of Business and Economics received a $54,000 grant for a project called, "Coding Camp: Training the Next Generation of Computer Science Professionals."

The funding came from Google's Community Grants Fund. The program will use Google CS First, a free program intended to introduce students to the concepts of computer science in a club format. The free online curriculum is targeted at students in grades 4-8, who will learn programming using Scratch, MIT's block-based coding language.

The money will pay for computers for the center and for community outreach to help parents understand what computer science is as a profession and why they would want their kids to learn it.

"This grant demonstrates community collaboration at its best," said Pam Jackson, dean of the school of business and economics and co-principal investigator for the project, in a prepared statement.

The university is "always looking for ways to partner with our neighboring communities and provide resources for them to increase and enhance their skills and knowledge," she added. "This project will not only teach these students an important component of computer science, but it will also put them on the path to gaining a better understanding of the STEM fields."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.