This outreach consists of a 10-week LEGO Robotics course offered in partnership with Citizen Schools. The class meets once a week for 2 hours, and is taught by a combination of STARS volunteers, a Citizen Schools Teaching Fellow, and other volunteers from the community. At the end of the 10 weeks, the students present their robot projects and what they have learned during the semester to parents and the community at an event called the WOW.
CS Principles (The Beauty & Joy of Computing) is one of the five initial pilot programs for the AP CS Principles course being developed by the College Board and the National Science Foundation. Our members are working to help north Carolina high school teachers who have adopted this curriculum, to organize the class resources, build a test bank of questions, and to facilitate the transition to this new pilot course. Our members also show the teachers new applications and technical skills that will help them in running their course.
This project aims to distribute useful information to middle schools and high schools in the Raleigh-Durham area. We have designed counselor kits that contain information on colleges, applications etc., that we would like to disseminate.
Feed Your Brain is a series of talks and workshops designed to disseminate knowledge on topics of interest to the student community that are not typically covered in the classroom. These sessions also encourage discussion among participants and help them explore new avenues of learning. As part of this series, we organized an introductory Android Programming workshop this fall to encourage mobile application development. Planned and proposed topics for future sessions include embedded development on the Raspberry Pi single-board computer, advanced mobile application development using Android, computer vision with OpenCV, among several others. Large participation and positive feedback have encouraged us to continue and expand this project in the future.
SPARCS is a middle school outreach program aimed at broadening participation in Computer Science. We offer monthly Saturday sessions to introduce students to fun and interesting concepts in Computer Science. These sessions are held after school during weekdays as well as 10am-3pm on Saturday. During each session a workshop will be organized by SPARCS mentors who are knowledgeable students studying Computer Science at North Carolina State University. These monthly workshops include hands-on learning activities to introduce the students to computer science concepts and practical applications. Sample workshops include Alice programming, web design, and LEGO Mindstorm robotics. SPARCS was initiated in October 2007 and is now in its fifth year of operation. Recently a large focus of the SPARCS project has been on documentation and empirical data to evaluate and improve the program moving forward. More information is available at http://research.csc.ncsu.edu/stars/sparcs
SPARCS @ DNS is an expansion outreach of SPARCS @ CCMMS and is in its fourth year of existence. The NCSU chapter of the STARS Alliance was fortunate enough to continue its partnership Durham Nativity School (DNS), an all male middle school in Durham, NC. As with SPARCS @ CCMS, the goal of SPARCS @ DNS is to introduce computer science topics to adolescents in order to "spark" an early interest in the field. The SPARCS curriculum consists of basic computer science concepts that include introductory programming, website development, and robotics.
The underlying objective of the STARS Evaluation project is trying to understand what real impact the STARS Alliance is having, and how effective the different projects and strategies have been in achieving the desired goals of the program. Our primary job is to help report back to the central organization activities that take place locally. In addition to such activity reporting, which helps us collect quantitative measures of success and gauge demographic distributions, we also help in qualitative reporting which includes a summary of projects and activities, as well as interviews with SLC students regarding their experiences related to computing and STARS.
The STARS Student Leadership Corps (SLC) website is a place for students, faculty, and sponsors to learn more about the STARS SLC. We provide information on the projects that current STARS SLC students are undertaking as well as details about the students themselves and information for applying to or assisting with the STARS SLC program.
Graduate and undergraduate students provide free one-on-one tutoring during weekly open lab hours to all CSC116, 216 and 226 students (Intro to Programming w/Java & Discrete Mathematics) who seek it. This allows for more support for these students, who may be unable to or uncomfortable with meeting with instructional staff. We coordinate the service with the instructors to keep tutors informed of current assignments and to preserve academic integrity.
STARS USCRI Refugee outreach is a collaboration with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Raleigh. We conduct a five-week computer literacy program for the refugee community (mostly adults). The focus of this outreach is to familiarize them with computer usage and help them acquire basic skills to perform computing tasks. Each session is roughly 3 hours and conducted on Saturdays on NCSU campus. The sessions include hands-on exercises and the students are provided with laptops, on which they worked in pairs.