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ICSD Computer Science Collaborative Fosters Inclusive Computing Culture for All Students

The ICSD Computer Science (CS) Collaborative is comprised of a group of educators and students districtwide who gather quarterly to focus on expanding equitable, high-quality computer science learning opportunities for students, particularly those underrepresented in computing. 

On December 5 (the first day of CS Education Week), the Collaborative met in Upper York at IHS to celebrate the work created so far this year, engage in several computer science-focused stations, and share developments from throughout the district.

computer science stations

Northeast Elementary Library Media Specialist, Meg Hulburt, taught students to develop a 3-D Design using a program called Tinkercad. The students developed original ID badge holders to be 3-D printed and mailed back to them. 

Students using Tinkercard to develop 3D-printed ID badge holders
DeWitt Middle School computer science teachers Angela Levy and Matt O’Donnell provided a demo on Micro:Bit, a program that provides coding guides and how-tos so students can become confident coders. 

The Ithaca High School media arts team (Akil Atiba, Jesse Wright, and Jonathan Shyne) demonstrated how IHS students are using Hummingbird Robotics kits to develop original cross-curricular projects. The co-taught course was developed with the goal to increase diversity among both departments and serves as an introduction to digital art and computer technology. 

The media arts project titled “Moving Masterpiece” asks students to create an animation in Adobe Photoshop and then turn that animation into a functioning robot using block coding. Media arts is one of many cross-curricular options for students as they explore new interests or aim to advance in a subject that interests them.

media arts project titled “Moving Masterpiece”

ICSD Information Technologist, Kat Nichols, demoed the district’s virtual reality (VR) headsets and demonstrated how gamified math programs can be even more engaging when explored virtually. Administration Officer Dan Breiman couldn’t resist trying the VR math games himself!

Dan Breiman trying VR math games

The CS Collaborative reinforces Learning Forward ICSD in its commitment to upholding students as partners and leaders and providing meaningful, interdisciplinary learning experiences. 

For more information on the ICSD CS Collaborative, please contact Matt O’Donnell, or check out the CS @ ICSD website

The CS Collaborative’s mission is for every ICSD student across race, class, gender, language, and ability level to creatively and critically engage in representing and solving problems using computer science, computational thinking, and digital tools. They aim to empower students to develop these skills as they engage as learners, users, and creators of knowledge, and to do so through fostering an inclusive computing culture and collaborating around computers.