Starting this fall, it will be easier for California high schools and intermediate schools to include UC-ready courses from the UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education, or C-STEM Center, in their curricula.
The C-STEM Center has been awarded an “A-G Program Status” by the University Of California Office of the President. This means that high schools will now be able to easily add the center’s “A-G approved” courses to their own school’s A-G course lists without submitting a complete course content description and going through the traditional approval process with the university.
A-G courses fulfill subject requirements for freshman admission to the University of California and California State University systems and are so-called because there are seven general subject areas labeled “A” through “G.”
“This is a milestone for the C-STEM Center,” said center director Harry Cheng, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC Davis. “It means that high schools can now readily adopt our research-based curriculum to help close the achievement gap and prepare students ready for career and college. We are very pleased that our research and outreach will have broad impact on the K-12 talent pipeline and workforce development.”
Cheng said that in the coming academic year, the center would support six high school courses with A-G approval and four middle school courses.
Approved high school courses available for the 2014-15 are:
- Algebra I with Computing
- Algebra I with Robotics and Computing
- Integrated Math I with Computing
- Integrated Math I with Robotics and Computing
- Introduction to Computer Programming with C
- Computing with Robotics
The middle school courses are:
- Math 7 with Computing
- Math 8 with Computing
- Computer Programming with Ch
The center’s programs and curricula are currently used in more than 80 schools in the Sacramento region, Bay Area and Orange County. Earlier this year, the C-STEM Center became a UC Approved Educational Preparation Program for Undergraduate Admission for all UC campuses, meaning that participation in the C-STEM program, C-STEM student and team awards and extracurricular activities are now recognized in the UC admissions process as achievements that have explicitly prepared students for college and career.
Annual activities of the C-STEM program culminate in C-STEM Day held each May, when teams of schoolchildren gather to demonstrate their programming skills, tackling the Roboplay Challenge Competition or Video Competition, where they program their robots to accomplish various tasks or show videos they have made using their robots. This year, 45 teams took part in simultaneous events at UC Davis and UC Irvine.
Conference on STEM education
The C-STEM Center will host the fourth annual Conference on Integrated Computing and STEM Education at UC Davis on Sunday, Nov. 9. The conference will bring together teachers, researchers, educators, policymakers and industrial partners to share their experiences, best practices, and ideas on the future direction of integrated computing and STEM education. There will also be two preconference workshops, Nov. 7-8 and Nov. 8, to introduce teachers to the C-STEM curriculum and programming. More information and registration.