Advancing Rural Computer Science (ARCS)
About the Project
Advancing Rural Computer Science (ARCS) aims to serve 18,000 K-5 students and 440 K-5 teachers over 5 years. Our focus is on serving students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM and computer science education including students in rural communities, minorities, and students from economically disadvantaged families.
ARCS has 4 goals:
- Train teachers and help them acquire computer science microcredentials. These teachers will be well positioned to work with others at their school, and build capacity for K-5 computer science instruction.
- Develop instructional materials that integrate computer science curriculum standards into core elementary subject areas including reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies
- Increase student readiness for STEM and computer science coursework in higher grade levels
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the project as a model for other computer science education initiatives.
The Center for Educational Partnerships at Old Dominion University will serve as the lead agency for the proposed project, with collaborators from the Virginia Department of Education and CodeVA contributing to project activities, and the University of Virginia conducting the external evaluation.
The project is funded by the United States Department of Education under Early-phase: Absolute Priority 3 -Field Initiated Innovations - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Old Dominion University, CodeVA and the Virginia Department of Education are partnering on the Advancing Rural Computer Science (ARCS) project to provide professional development to support the integration of Computer Science SOLs into the K-5 core curriculum.
How to Join the Exciting ARCS Project
We will begin our recruitment activities for our second cohort in fall 2022. If you would like to learn more about how your school can participate, please email the ARCS team at TCEP@odu.edu Benefits of participation include:
- Fun and engaging training for two summers
- School year support through an online professional learning community
- Stipend of up to $1,150
- Eligibility for recertification points
- Computer Science microcredentials offered at no cost through Old Dominion University
- Access to FREE online instructional resources
This opportunity is being provided through United States Department of Education grant award #U411C190032.
The 2020 pilot cohort is wrapping up their two year project participation in the summer of 2022. If you are in the pilot cohort and have questions about the training, stipends, or the pre- and post training surveys, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2021 randomized control cohort is ongoing.
If you are in the 2021 cohort and have questions about the training, stipends, or the pre- and post-training surveys, email us at email@example.com.
Resources for Teachers
One of the goals of the ARCS project is to improve the quantity and quality of computer science instructional resources available to teachers in Virginia. Resources produced by ARCS will be aligned with the Virginia Computer Science Standards of Learning and made freely available via the #GoOpenVA online database. The project will also develop a series of high-quality microcredentials that teachers may complete through the Old Dominion University School of Continuing Education.
The ARCS project will be using the Culturally Responsive Teaching model to help teachers engage all learners. You can learn more about Culturally Responsive Teaching here.
ARCS Newsletters are electronically published and distributed monthy with updates and resources for teachers. You can find the archive of past newsletters here.
The ARCS team is a diverse, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional group with expertise in computer science, teacher professional development, curriculum design, STEM education, educational research, and program evaluation. Team members are in The Center for Educational Partnerships and School of Continuing Education at Old Dominion University, at Code Virginia, in the Virginia Department of Education's Office of STEM Innovation, and at the University of Virginia. To learn more about our team, click here.