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UMD Contributes to National CSforALL Initiative

By Maryland Today Staff

The University of Maryland has joined an expanded national effort announced today to advance accessibility and educational opportunities for young people interested in computer science.

The Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) and the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing (I4C) are two of the 127 organizations involved in CSforALL, a consortium launched in 2016 to make computer science an integral part of the educational experience for all K–12 students and teachers.

UMD’s commitment to CSforALL will include workshops and summer camps for young people—focused mostly on those who identify as female or non-binary and/or Black, Latinx or Native American—in the Washington, D.C., and Maryland region.

“We’re excited to be part of this national movement to improve the diversity of computing and to make a community that is inclusive and welcoming for all,” said Jandelyn Plane, a principal lecturer in computer science who serves as director of both MCWIC and I4C.

At UMD, MCWIC will collaborate with the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital and Rise Up 4 CS to provide workshops to 600 middle- and high-school girls interested in coding basics, app development, game design, cybersecurity and Advanced Placement Computer Science A (Java). I4C will offer summer camps and workshops to 500 middle and high school-aged students who identify as female or non-binary and/or Black, Latinx or Native American.

Both of these UMD-based efforts fit within the goals and aspirations of the 165 new educational commitments announced by CSforALL.

UMD activities tied to CSforALL will benefit from the experience that Maryland faculty and student volunteers already have in working with young people through successful programs like CompSciConnect, said Kate Atchison, assistant director for MCWIC and I4C.

“We’re thrilled to be working with other the organizations in CSforALL as part of a collective, forward-looking commitment to building an advanced and sustainable K–12 computer science education system that is effective both in and out of the classroom,” she said.

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