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CS Roadtrip Profile

Computer Science Roadtrip (CS Roadtrip)


Roadtrip Nation proposes to design and develop pilot materials for a Computer Science Roadtrip (CS Roadtrip). Roadtrip Nation is an independent, award-winning organization that empowers students to define their own roads in life through resources such as its annual public television series, live campus events, publicized books, multimedia online content, and innovative educational resources. The Roadtrip Nation Experience curriculum connects students to the vast Roadtrip Nation Interview Archive, which chronicles the diverse personal stories and pathways of successful individuals from across the United States and other countries around the world. The individuals featured within the Interview Archive share personal tales about navigating life's choices, overcoming obstacles, and working hard to define their own roads in life. They range from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to scientists, mechanics, artists, TV producers, accountants, and beyond. To date, very few of the interviewees have been computer scientists or have even made use of computing in creative ways in their chosen careers. This pilot project will pilot the Roadtrip Nation approach for computing, building a small number of initial interviews and related materials that showcase computing careers in ways that are engaging to students. The goal would be to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach in expanding student appreciation of the wide range of applications of computing. If the approach is successful, it could expand into an entire Roadtrip focused on computer science.

Through this pilot project, Roadtrip Nation will lay the groundwork and provide proof-of-concept for a CS Roadtrip, leveraging a combination of multimedia deliverables, an evidence-based educational curriculum, and dynamic engagement strategies that will provide critical connections between students' natural interests, positive role models who align with those interests, and corresponding CS educational and career pathways. To that end, the CS Roadtrip Pilot will develop up to four student-facing videos that feature the stories of diverse computing professionals, appropriate for on-air, online, and classroom purposes, along with the appropriate Learning Guides. The materials and curriculum will be implemented in up to four partner schools in California. In partnership with the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), Roadtrip Nation will develop an evaluation strategy that measures the pilot project impacts, particularly with underserved students, and illuminates the potential of a fully developed CS Roadtrip Project.