UCI informatics professor Debra Richardson (right) takes a break from the White House Computer Science for All summit in the Truman Bowling Alley with Kerry Bishé, star of the television show "Halt and Catch Fire."

Informatics professor attends White House summit on computer science initiative

UCI informatics professor Debra Richardson was at the White House last week for the Computer Science for All summit, a progress report on President Barack Obama’s call for greater resources and actions to encourage more students to learn about computing. Richardson heads UCI’s CS1C@OC program, which was created with funding from the National Science Foundation to produce 100 well-trained computer science teachers in Orange County by 2020. In a presentation at the summit, Janice Cuny, NSF program director for computing education, said: “We want teachers that are going to inspire students to be really creative problem-solvers and to use computers to their fullest capability, and we want these teachers to show students the wide range of applications that there are in computing and that computing is relevant to their lives and their interests. We’re asking a lot of these teachers, and we don’t have many teachers in schools currently who were trained in computer science, so the professional development that’s needed is really significant.” CS1C@OC will provide in-service teachers in Orange County with a program of study that conforms to California’s new teacher certification pathway in computer science. The program is specifically designed around access and equity in computer learning for the county’s underserved K-12 students. UCI will offer teachers summer courses in computer science principles and instruction and will work toward developing a hybrid professional learning community in which participants can share information and experiences to grow personally and professionally throughout the school year.

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