CS First is a free program that increases access and exposure to computer science (CS) education. The program is designed for grades 4th-8th students with little to no knowledge of CS through after-school, in-school, and summer programs. Teachers and/or community volunteers use the resources to start a computer science education club; students use the site to access programming exercises ranging from creating and editing animations to designing a games.
CS First contains numerous themes (or referred to as “clubs” on the website) such as storytelling, fashion, sports, and game design for students to explore. Each club includes eight different activities, which usually each take 40-75 minutes to finish. If used in the classroom on a daily basis, the entire club project can be completed in a week or two.
For teachers/volunteers, CS First provides free supplemental material and encourages laypeople that may not have any experience in computer science or education to guide students along the way. Once a teacher/volunteer logs in to CS First, they are provided with in-depth lesson plans that walk them through how the lesson should be organized. Other supplemental materials for the teacher / volunteer include a “passport” that stores username and password information, badges students receive for completing the activity, contingency plans, rosters, etc.
When a club is created, it will generate usernames and passwords for all students. After a class discussion, students watch several videos provided on the site to introduce them to the activity and how it relates to computer science. The videos then demonstrate the coding tools they will need for their club project. All of these activities rely upon Scratch, an MIT-developed web-based coding tool . Many activities involve group projects and give an opportunity for students to show off their creations to the class.
CS First is available on any modern browser.
CS First is free to use.
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I would develop it as a classroom kit for teachers, not just aimed at a club. I would provide some teacher in-person training. I w...
Site with different languages, easier for parents to see how their kids are doing and we can better introduce this to o...