Computer science professors and researchers at Tuskegee University will extend their teaching mission to secondary schools throughout Alabama’s Black Belt, thanks to a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation aimed at encouraging STEM participation among the state’s 8th graders.
TU officials will assist teachers in counties throughout the state in revitalizing STEM curriculum for an emphasis on computer science, to help in diversifying professional exposure opportunities to youth stationed in some of the state’s poorest counties.
“Through this NSF-funded effort, our team will design a prototype model for computer science education, that hopefully will later expand to include all middle-school students in Alabama’s Black Belt,” said Dr. Shaik Jeelani, Tuskegee’s vice president for research and dean of graduate studies. “The long-term, broader impact for this underserved region of the country is potentially significant, considering that such educational opportunities like this often are reserved for more privileged school districts.”
Officials say that the new curriculum should be ready for classrooms in 2018.