Case Studies

CS for the Littlest Learners

CS for the Littlest Learners

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) is a resource for digital literacy as much as it is for basic literacy. Alongside story time, they offer their youngest patrons programs like Little Learners Coding Concepts, where pre-schoolers practice early math and thinking skills like sorting and pattern making.

Developed by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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CS Internships

CS Internships

For schools that have successfully integrated CS into their curriculum, the next step is building connections to CS careers. Nazareth Prep partners with more than 130 community and corporate internship providers to create unique internship experiences for each student. One such partnership with the game-design startup EDGE teaches students how to design, develop, and market products made with computer science.

Developed by Nazareth Prep

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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CS Jam Session

CS Jam Session

It’s tough to get teenagers to actually admit they’re interested in something. When the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh asked teens what they would really like to geek out on, making video games was at the top of the list. CLP recruited a tech-savvy educator to design a five-day intensive based on the Global Game Jam model. The session challenged students to tap into their interests and stretch their CS learning to create video games.

Developed by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Cultivating CS Talent

Cultivating CS Talent

Simcoach Games designs games for young people, so who better to help them develop and iterate games than local youth? Working with high-school-aged interns throughout the year, Simcoach helps local students develop their CS and STEM skills while gathering valuable youth perspectives that directly inform game design. And all the while, they’re cultivating the next generation of CS/STEM talent in the region.

Developed by Simcoach Games

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Drop-in After-school CS

Drop-in After-school CS

Beta Builders teaches students in grades 10 to 12 how to code and write software through free, drop-in after-school sessions at four Pittsburgh Public Schools. Software engineers and teachers partner to teach basic computational skills students need to get started with computer science. Small stipends and snacks make this low-commitment first step hard to resist for students.

Developed by Academy Pittsburgh

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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First Doodles

First Doodles

Sometimes the best option is to start small. Manchester Academic Charter School helped its students start coding by creating their own Google Doodles using Google’s free CS First program for schools. Students watched video tutorials and completed interactive modules to practice the basics of coding. Students then used Scratch to design and animate their own version of the famous Google logo (also known as a “Google Doodle”).

Developed by Manchester Academic Charter School

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Focus on Fundamentals

Focus on Fundamentals

To lay the foundation for a K–12 CS curriculum, Cornell School District leveraged free lessons available from code.org, teacher training provided by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, and partnership with the
Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. They created a weekly CS Fundamentals course for K–5 students that starts with block-based programming as a precursor to writing code.

Developed by Cornell School District

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Friends in Higher Ed

Friends in Higher Ed

Schools looking for help developing creative CS experiences for their students can often find partners in higher education. The Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon University provides professional development for teachers and collaborates in planning and delivering project-based CS lessons in the curriculum. Projects can span a single unit, a full year, or multiple years and range from 2D computer animation to developing 3D video game engines.

Developed by Entertainment Technology Center

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Games as CS Incentives

Games as CS Incentives

Computer science doesn’t always come across as a fun and engaging subject to learn. Intermediate Unit 1 used the Code Monkey program to introduce 3rd graders to coding through an interactive experience that turned writing code into a game-like experience that incentivized students to learn by playing.

Developed by Intermediate Unit 1

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Integrating CS

Integrating CS

CS doesn’t exist in isolation. To help bring CS into every classroom, Propel Schools pairs CS integration educators with teachers to co-plan and co-teach two projects per school year. Grades K–4 integrate CS and art to spark engagement and develop transferable skills. Grades 5–8 integrate CS with design and engineering to challenge students to think critically and creatively solve real-world problems. In grades 9–12, students can opt to replace one science or math credit with an approved CS course.

Developed by Propel Schools

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Learning to Teach CS

Learning to Teach CS

For students to be engaged in learning CS, their teachers need to be comfortable teaching CS. Carnegie Learning believes that strong, ongoing, mentor-based professional development can help all teachers prepare students for a future in CS, regardless of their content-area expertise. Carnegie Learning emphasizes game-design projects that engage teachers and students in a fun, yet rigorous approach to computer science.

Developed by Carnegie Learning

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Leveling Up in CS

Leveling Up in CS

Learning to program takes hours and hours of practice, so pacing is important. Avonworth School District took a leveling-up approach. In grades K–2, students participate in digital media sessions once every six days. In grades 3–6, that grows to twice every six days for half the year. By grades 7–9, students are ready for six-week rotations learning Python. This prepares students for college-level study in high school that prepares them to take the AP Computer Science exam.

Developed by Avonworth School District

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Making STEAM with CS

Making STEAM with CS

While learning to use technology is essential, learning to create technology is far more empowering. That’s why Pittsburgh Public Schools weaves computer science throughout the curriculum at its STEAM magnet schools. The district’s STEAM Coordinator worked with building principals to design a schedule that ensured each student would have at least one section of CS during every six days. On these days, classes are jam-packed with students excited to practice programming computers and robots.

Developed by Pittsburgh Public Schools

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Rethinking the Textbook

Rethinking the Textbook

Computer science is interactive, so shouldn’t the textbook be too? Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science Academy is a free online textbook and curriculum for high school computer science classes. CS Academy also supports teachers with ongoing professional development as their students learn Python.

Developed by CS Academy

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Scaffolding CS K–12

Scaffolding CS K–12

Computational thinking is an essential literacy. That’s why South Fayette Township School District worked to scaffold computational thinking across the K–12 experience. Students learn block-based coding in kindergarten, start programming motors, sensors, and LEDs in elementary grades, learn to create mobile apps and design in CAD in middle school, and make the leap to text-based coding in 8th grade. By the time they reach high school, students are ready for advanced courses in Python, Java, and data science.

Developed by South Fayette Township School District

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Seeing a Future in CS

Seeing a Future in CS

You can’t be what you can’t see. For many black students, that includes being a computer scientist, as African Americans make up only 8% of the computing workforce. M-PowerHouse seeks to change that by connecting young black students with people of color working in STEM fields. Through a combination of inspirational speaking and hands-on coaching in coding, the program gives young people a role model to identify with and the early skills to get a head start on their CS pathway.

Developed by M-PowerHouse

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Team Teaching CS

Team Teaching CS

Computing is a powerful tool to solve problems across the full spectrum of human endeavor. To reveal this to students (and teachers), West Greene School District developed an interdisciplinary program led by a team of three teachers. Students move seamlessly between a mechatronics engineering course, an aquaponics agricultural sciences course, and a computer science course, using what they learn in each field to conduct their own inquiries, experiments, and problem solving.

Developed by West Greene School District

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Tech Lending Library

Tech Lending Library

Computer science happens on computers. Hardware and software are a necessity, but what if you can’t afford to buy equipment for every classroom? The STEAM Lending Library at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit offers sharing model as an alternative. Through the support of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, the library houses more than 2,000 pieces of equipment. AIU offers any teacher in Allegheny County the chance to build their capacity to use teaching technologies in their classroom.

Developed by Allegheny Intermediate Unit

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Transdisciplinary CS

Transdisciplinary CS

After nearly two decades of offering CS courses in high school, Canon-McMillan School District expanded computational thinking across its entire K–12 curriculum. Embedding CS within interdisciplinary STEM, STEAM, and Maker activities has been key to making CS work for all students, especially in elementary and middle school grades.

Developed by Canon-McMillan School District

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Volunteers for CS

Volunteers for CS

Closing the opportunity gap is a tall order for any school district. When a large urban system like Pittsburgh Public Schools wants to do it, they look to community partners. Through their participation in Microsoft’s TEALS program, PPS recruits volunteers from local industry and CS graduate programs to collaborate with teachers and support high school students learning CS. Over the course of two years of twice-weekly lessons, teachers develop their own capacity to teach CS on their own.

Developed by Pittsburgh Public Schools

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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CS for Graduation

CS for Graduation

Once students are through their first steps in coding, CS can become much more rigorous. In fact it has to, in order to prepare students for advanced studies and eventually careers in CS. To introduce this level of rigor, Northgate School District replaced its traditional Business, Computing, and Information Technology graduation requirements with a course in Computer Science Principles endorsed by the College Board. Students can complete the course as freshmen or sophomores to earn credit toward graduation and also earn community college credits.

Developed by Northgate School District

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Connecting Girls to CS

Connecting Girls to CS

Women are underrepresented in CS-related fields, so it’s important to provide girls with on-ramps to CS and connect them with supportive role models who can help breakdown gender-based barriers. The Technology Leadership Initiative at Pitt launched Tech Divaz to create a girls-only space for CS learning. Over a week-long intensive, an all-female staff teach girls in grades 6 to 9 everything from hardware and operating systems to web design and programming.

Developed by Technology Leadership Initiative

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Coding Bootcamp

Coding Bootcamp

The Alice Bootcamp is a one-day event where students learn the fundamentals of computer science by creating 3D games and animations using Alice block-based software. More than 50 students can participate in morning workshops followed by self-guided creative time in the afternoon.

Developed by The Alice Project

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

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Fort Cherry School District - Building Capacity for CS

Building Capacity for CS

When educators at Fort Cherry School District wanted to expand CS K-12, they faced two very real and very common obstacles: zero funding and no specialist faculty. They decided to build slowly and intentionally starting with establishing a team of teachers, students, administrators, and partners who could learn to teach CS.

Developed by Fort Cherry School District

This case study originally appeared in the CSforPgh Quickstart Guide produced by Remake Learning. To read an expanded version of this case study, including how-tos, budget, and more, click here.

Photo provided by Remake Learning (remakelearning.org)