Equity + Innovation = Freshman Technology Experience

Equity + Innovation = Freshman Technology Experience
Posted on 04/12/2019

Building on our equity-driven 1:1 technology program, Cambridge Public Schools offered a new “Freshman Technology Experience,” seeking to inspire more—and more diverse—students to explore computer science.

Traditionally, internships and technology conferences rely on students to recognize they belong in the field and then apply to the program. Hoping to open the door to the innovation economy wider, the event immersed the diverse Freshman class at CRLS in the world of computer science and software design.

The brainchild of Instructional Technology Specialist Nicole Hart, CRLS instructional technology staff and CRLS faculty worked collaboratively with MIT Innovators to make the day a success. Sessions included:
  • MIT App Inventor, where students learned to program Android-based apps, led by the MIT App Inventor team and CRLS Computer Science students.
  • Shadowspect, led by members of the MIT Playful Journey Lab, challenged students to participate in a geometry puzzle game designed to make assessment more fun and interesting.
  • Youth-led Opportunities Panel, in which 11th and 12th grade students encouraged students to pursue internships, honors study, AP Computer Science and/or technical education available through the Rindge School of Technical Arts.
  • Course selection with guidance counselors, where students connected their future aspirations with the courses they can choose next year and beyond.
“We hope that this new event will demystify a field that has historically lacked diversity, for students who represent one of the most diverse high schools in Massachusetts,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Salim. He continued, “Thanks to some innovative thinking by CRLS faculty and leading-edge contributions from MIT, this day should leave many students eager to learn more.”

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