Education and Outreach Group

The FCA’s Education and Outreach group focused on educational outreach for the youth through demystifying computer science and breaking stereotypes of computer scientists


The Education and Outreach (E&O) working group was formed to leverage the diverse experience that our group members bring in computer science (CS) education and outreach to a variety of age groups and audiences. Our working group members have diverse research interests within computing and diverse backgrounds and perspectives. E&O is traditionally fragmented to focus on a single audience (e.g., classroom vs. local communities vs. online). Our goal in constructing a wide tent collaboration is to provide resources that cover as much of this space as possible while borrowing and integrating between projects to ensure compatibility, efficient use of resources, and coverage. We break down what this means concretely here:

A broad coalition: The ACM-FCA and this WG in particular aim to avoid skew and bias introduced by any particular research agenda, cultural background, or language. By working together, we can create multilingual interdisciplinary resources for all of our target proposals. We can also share resources; for example, research for course creation can inspire hands-on activities and can be condensed to form the basis for digital outreach.

The complete pipeline:

  1. Digital Media Outreach: To position interesting and accessible CS topics on as many screens as possible we are creating a series of broad interest topics and working with periodicals/content providers such as Science News, Teen Vogue, and science or technology-oriented educational YouTube channels to attract a broad young audience.  These articles aim to inspire people to search out local clubs and activities.
  2. Local Programs: We are piloting programs in local science fairs, festivals, and non-profits (both within the United States and internationally).  These programs provide tie-in with our digital content and help us to understand outreach strategies that work across different demographics.  With these programs, we aim to educate people at a high-level about CS and to inspire them to seek out formal study of CS.
  3. Formal Curriculum: Finally, if students decide to pursue a career in or study CS, it is important that we construct curricula that represent our ever-changing field.  We hope to enhance and broader early introductions to CS to include more of the field than traditional programming proficiency have done, for example, by including programming examples that demonstrate how introductory concepts are used in diverse CS fields.

Why ACM?

  1. Educational Initiatives: ACM represents a broad international research community, and it is important to collaborate with them on expanding existing initiatives relevant to our goals (e.g., AP curricula, National Science Fairs, etc.).
  2. Outreach: ACM partners with and funds important outreach (e.g. through ACM-W) to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in Computer Science.  Unfortunately, CS is still not accessible to many minorities in and outside of the US.  Looking forward, it will be important for us to redirect some of ACM’s resources to assist organizations working to address this deficit to ensure CS is actually accessible to all.

Group Members

Indrajit Roy

Lana Yarosh

Bushra Anjum

Fahim Khan

Justin Solomon

Katie Schuman

Luigi De Russis

Rajan Vaish

Shipra Agrawal

Tim Weninger

Yonatan Bisk