Computer Science Outreach to Inform Secondary School Students’ Perceptions of Computer Science: Preliminary Findings
This poster describes a longitudinal K-12 outreach programme to promote Computer Science in Ireland, which ran over a three-year period from 2017- 2020. A pilot phase was conducted in the first year from 2017-2018 with 2900 students participating. The implementation phase began in 2018, when 7320 students participated across the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years. The programme consisted of a free onsite school delivery of a two-hour camp that introduced students to a range of Computing topics: addressing computing perceptions, introduction to coding, and exploration of computational thinking. Schools self-selected, and the programme reached a large number of schools with varied socio-economic and gender diversity, along with schools across every county in Ireland. The student ages ranged from third class (7 - 8 years old) in primary school to sixth year in second level (17 - 18 years old). This poster focuses specifically on the research data collected during the implementation phase (N=1211) from secondary school students (12 - 18 years old) not enrolled in the formal Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject. Looking at student perceptions of Computer Science and if the outreach positively impacted those perceptions and built student interest in pursuing further study in Computer Science.