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Friday, December 08, 2017

AP Computer Science Principles Paves the Way to STEM Success | Black Enterprise

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"It’s Computer Science Education Week—and there’s probably no better time to look at where we are as a nation in accomplishing our computer science goals" according to Robin White Goode.

Photo: The College Board

“When the National Science Foundation approached the College Board in 2008, there was an overall problem of participation in computer science, particularly among traditionally underrepresented students,” says Maureen Reyes, executive director of the College Board’s Advanced Placement program.

In 2007, 15,049 students had enrolled in an AP computer science course. But since last year, with the rollout of the new AP Computer Science Principles course, 104,849 students took the exam this year (including those students who took the AP Computer Science A course).

Not only that, but the students are more diverse: The number of African American and Latino students more than doubled; the number of females doubled.The number of African American students earning a 3 or higher on an AP computer science exam almost tripled in 2017 with the addition of the new Computer Science Principles course.

In 2005, 21 states had not even one African American student in an AP computer science course—that number is now down to five. Reyes told me that the course is the largest launch in AP history—and AP has been around for 60 years...

Laying a Foundation 
Jeffrey Lowenhaupt, a math teacher at the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics in New York, taught the new course last year.

“It provides a really good perspective on how computer science fits into our daily lives. I never taught the old course, but speaking with some of the other teachers that did, it’s just pure coding. You learn Java and probably get a deeper understanding of one specific computing language, but this course engages the kids more because they learn about the internet, about social implications. They’re required to do research on emerging technologies, and there’s a lot more than just coding,” Lowenhaupt told me.
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Source: Black Enterprise