Constellations Center Commits to Teaching 200 Students Computer Science in 2018-19 Academic Year

Lien Diaz moderates panel at CSforALL Summit.

The Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech was one of 294 organizations to make a commitment to improving the computer science education landscape at the 2018 CSforALL Summit, Oct. 8-11. The center committed to “instilling a sequence of high-level CS courses in secondary schools with low-income communities.”

Constellations fellows will teach the AP CS principles course in seven public high schools in Atlanta Public Schools (APS) during the 2018-19 academic year, educating nearly 200 high school students. The end result of the engagement will be a hybrid model of instructional and online learning providing a pathway to post-secondary computer science and STEM studies. These courses include AP CS Principles, Georgia Tech’s Introduction to Computing Using Python, and AP CS A.

“Our fellows began teaching AP CS in August and we have already seen so much growth from our students. Many of them have never been trusted with a computer, much less exposed to computer science, and it has been amazing to see them start to realize their potential in this subject and how far they can go in life,” said Lien Diaz, Constellations Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership.

Diaz moderated a panel about engaging underrepresented youth in computer science at the summit.

Commitment goals at the event ranged from increasing rigor and equity in computing to creating opportunities for youth, supporting local change, and growing the computer science education movement.

The event included talks from guests such as “NCIS: New Orleans” actor, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, who reminded the attendees that “there is nothing a kid can’t do if given the opportunity.”

ReCAPTCHA creator and Duolingo founder, Luis von Ahn, inspired the crowd with lessons learned from his time creating technology solutions, and Deon Gordon of Tech Birmingham encouraged the audience to care not only about teaching children technical skills, but to care for them as a person. The Detroit Arts and Sciences Academy chorus wowed attendees with their computer science remix from “Frozen.”

The summit took place in Detroit, Mich. at Wayne State University. For an interactive visualization of the 227 commitments made, please visit here.


Allie McFadden

Communications Officer