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Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE)


CAITE designs and carrys out comprehensive programs that address under-representation in information technology (IT).

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CAITE Highlight

Hundreds in Massachusetts participate in Computer Science Education Week, 2010

All across Massachusetts, more than 600 participated in activities that raised awareness of the importance of computer science education during “CS Ed Week” in December 2010. Twelve different schools, colleges, and community organizations offered workshops, technology showcases, field trips and contests, with the support of the NSF BPC Alliance, Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE).

photo of Artbotics workshopBy raising awareness of the daily uses of computer science in all aspects of life, students begin to envision themselves in computing careers. This engagement is the first step in increasing the number and diversity of computer science graduates, which government and industry will require to fill economic and security needs in the coming decades.

CAITE, as part of its mission to broaden participation in computing, partners with Massachusetts colleges to reach out to students and educators about the opportunities in computer science. The CS Ed Week activities reached middle school, high school, and college students, as well as educators and members of the general public. Here are a few examples: Fifty students from Easthampton High School travelled 100 miles to Cambridge to visit Microsoft’s New England Research and Development Center and learn why technology is important and a viable career path. In Fitchburg, two dozen high school students spent an afternoon learning to program Pico Supercricket robots and sensors to perform different tasks. Throughout the week, middle and high schoolers at the Advanced Math and Science Academy heard from people who work in the computing and technology industries, including the inventor of a “digital assistant,” someone who created an electric car, and a digital game developer. One girl who participated in a Scratch programming workshop at Haverhill High School commented, “If this is computer science, I CAN do it. This is pretty fun. Maybe I would try AP CS [advanced placement computer science class].”