Project Summary (excerpted from our grant proposal to the National Science Foundation):
[The REThink CS @ Drexel site is] a Research Experiences for Teachers site in computer science for STEM high school teachers and 2-year college faculty in the City of Philadelphia and Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area ("REThink CS @ Drexel", http://rethink.cs.drexel.edu). This is a continuation of the project supported by National Science Foundation Grant No. CNS-1301171, 2013-16.
A summer research institute will be held annually for 6 weeks and will involve 10 teachers per year. The objectives of the program are to build partnerships between high schools, community colleges, industry and the university, introduce teachers to cutting edge computer science research with social impact, inform and excite them about computer science principles and computational thinking, produce learning materials for use in high school and community college STEM curricula which emphasize social relevance, and expand the pipeline of students studying STEM and computing curricula in college.
The School Districts of Philadelphia, Egg Harbor Township (NJ), and Downingtown (PA) will partner with us, as will Central Bucks High School and Montgomery County Community College. Representatives of industrial partners Comcast and SAP and educational organizations Franklin Institute, Philadelphia STEM Innovation Center and chapters of the Computer Science Teachers Association in Philadelphia and New Jersey will join them on the advisory board.
Faculty in Drexel's Department of Computer Science with active research programs in information privacy, machine learning, human-computer interaction, brain computer interfaces, smart textiles, computer graphics and medical imaging will supervise projects. Projects will share machine learning and human-centered computing as compelling and unifying themes underlying widespread application areas.
Teachers spend their summer at Drexel performing research with faculty, students and teacher mentors in the associated labs and initiating work on educational modules for use at their home institutions. They will prepare poster presentations summarizing their projects, initial accomplishments, further expectations and educational modules.
Participants will remain engaged year-round by participating in monthly electronic meetings with the investigators, with a winter campus meeting and other regional events, culminating in a 1-day showcase event in the spring to present results, materials and posters.