The Charlottesville Computer Science Community (CCSC) is organized by Kim Wilkens, Dr. Jennifer Chiu, and Dr. Luther Tychoneviech as part of a research-practice partnership (RPP) with the Charlottesville City Public Schools (Nigel Standish), the University of Virginia, and two local non-profits, Tech-Girls and C4K (Kala Somerville). Kim, the founder of Tech-Girls and current Ed.D. student at UVA's School of Education, has been working with K-8 educators for the past 10 years to help them integrate CS into their curriculum. Jennie, Associate Professor at UVA's School of Education, researches how to integrate computational thinking into science teaching and has led professional development (PD) with K-8 educators toward that end. Luther, Assistant Professor in the CS Department at UVA, has led hundreds of hours of diversity training for CS educators, especially at the secondary and post-secondary level.
Through this partnership we:
- Help organize and run the annual CS Institute - a free professional development opportunity for K-12 educators with a mission to 1) Demystify computer science; 2) Build a regional computer science education community; 3) Increase access to CS for all students.
- Go after grant funding to support our mission. We received our first grant at the beginning of 2020 (City schools to receive state grants for computer science) and have other grants in process.
- Support cohorts of CS K-8 educators throughout the school year. The 2019 cohort presented at the Virginia Society of Technology Educators (VSTE) Conference.
- Work with businesses and other organizations to help sponsor events like the CS Institute and join grant opportunities with matching funds (WillowTree, ExploreLearning, Ting, Moonlighting, UVA BME)
- Were a finalist for the 2020 CBIC Partnership of Year the award