Higher Ed Get Their Game On with eMINTS

IMG_0025The White House estimates that by 2018, more than half (51 percent) of STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields. In order to meet this demand, there’s a new call to prepare higher education faculty and pre-service students to include computational thinking, coding, and computer science into the classroom.

One way to address the shortage is through video game development. Students love games, and the computer skills needed to make games are easily translatable.

The MU College of Education’s eMINTS program was awarded a second CS4HS Google grant for Scalable Game Design for the 2016-17 school year. The goal of this grant is to develop a program of professional learning for faculty. The faculty then work with pre-service teachers to help them understand the value and importance of computational thinking and how they might incorporate coding activities into their subject area curriculum.

Curriculum development is particularly important for serving students who are largely left out of the tech industry. eMINTS research with partner school University of Colorado found that students from groups that are underrepresented in technology fields are more likely to continue with courses and after-school clubs that have a STEM focus.

A workshop to teach faculty was held in October 2016 and included faculty from several different higher education institutions. There is also an effort to train several MU College of Education students to teach coding to third to fifth grade students though the Adventure Club, a Columbia Public Schools-based after-school program.

For more information on eMINTS and the original CS4HS grant, visit: https://sites.google.com/a/emints.org/coding/.