Building a smarter computing culture in Fargo, ND
“Google RISE – Roots in Science and Engineering – Awards are designed to promote and support Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Computer Science (CS) education initiatives. We provide awards to organizations working with K-12 (primary & secondary schools) and university students to provide enrichment programs in these fields.”
A competition that our Fargo XO project will likely enter.
I had an interesting meeting yesterday with the 4H co-ordinator of a local program called “Tech Wizards” based on a model developed at Oregon State. We talked about how North Dakota State University (our institution) also runs Summer STEM Kids, a TechGyrl program, and a BisonBest Robotics competition. Microsoft runs a TechGyrl program in Fargo, too.
We are the new kids on the block, with our TechTeam at Madison Elementary, but I think we have the big vision that could potentially bring all these pieces together. We are trying to build a “Smart Computing Culture” in Fargo ND, and Sugar lays the groundwork (K-5). Most of the other programs I listed are middle school and up. I could also list the ND Governor’s School Program, which runs a great Computer Science curriculum, a super English curriculum, as well as others I am less familiar with.
Many of these programs try to serve the underrepresented populations in Fargo, but they struggle because they can’t figure out bussing issues, timing issues, etc.. We knew from day one that we needed to go to where the kids are (elementary school), so in addition to trying to get these programs to work together, we also need them to take seriously the barriers that continue to skew, rather than level the playing field, which is the goal of the Google RISE program. My circle is now complete.