I just finished teaching a mini-course for grade eight girls last week. It was called Computer Science and Games: Just for Girls! The course's main topic was video games, but taught relevant computer science topics as well. At the end of the week, the students had a working video game that they could bring home with them and show their friends. How cool is that??
Several CU-WISE members were a huge help for this course, volunteering their time to help students with their games during our afternoon lab times. Thanks so much to each and every one of you. If you think you didn't end up helping that much, let me politely say how wrong you are! Even just being there as a real computer scientist or engineer was huge, because role models are much more important than you might think. You also showed them how you think and solve problems. Most of us didn't know the answers to their questions off hand, so we worked through them and figured it out together. This is such a valuable lesson.
I wrote a few posts about the course to my personal blog that you might be interested in. First, you may wish to take a look at the course notes to see what the girls learned about. The notes include links to all the cool videos we saw, the software we used, and other interesting websites. Then you may want to read my post mortem, where I share some of the survey results I gathered on the first and last days. There might be some things that surprise you...
If you were a volunteer and have any stories to share, please leave a comment! Or, if you were involved with any of the other mini-courses last week, or the Pathmakers lunch and tour, tell us about your experiences.