Outreach Programs

The Department of Computer Science (CS) Outreach team includes three programs: Young Women in Computing Program (YWiC), Discovering Science through Computational Thinking (DISSECT), and the Center for Smart Grid Technologies (iCREDITS).

Outreach initiatives are developed with the vision to increase CS participation, activities, and engagement for all students in NM. CS Outreach focuses on multidimensional program components such as summer camps, hosting workshops, in-school presentations, after-school programs, state-wide competitions, social networking, forums and conferences, plus teacher-program collaborations that leverage available resources.

YWiC Outreach shares and promotes highly impactful curriculum that spans across elementary, middle, & high school plus college outreach. YWiC serves small and large groups of students and join in large-scale outreach efforts to attract more students to computer science related activities. Since its inception, YWiC has directly impacted over 15,000 students. We began in the summer of 2006 as part of the National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation in Computing Initiative.

CS Outreach provides year-round educational activities using hands-on experiences in beginning coding and object-oriented programming. The Outreach Team hosts visitors to NMSU for one-hour workshops, including over 60 workshops each year, to both young women and men, in grades 5 – 12. We talk about computing careers, college majors, and how students can get involved with computer science activities.

Computer Science Summer Camps

NMSU Department of Computer Science Summer Camps are fun, exciting, challenging, and hands-on! Camps will run June 6–July 1 and July 11–29; we will offer a morning camp for beginners and an afternoon for camp alumna who are more advanced. Options will include middle school camps for girls, high school camps for young women, and a two-week co-gender high school camp.

NMSU CS camps are tailored to achieve four major goals:

    1. Build community among students and teachers through computing;
    2. Increase student and teacher interest in computing;
    3. Gain knowledge and experience with introductory programming; and
    4. Drastically increase all student and teacher confidence in Computer Science.

Each goal is achieved through specific sets of activities implemented in the summer camp. Participants learn about coding in Python, Java, HTML and C, computational thinking, game design, robotics, Arduino, app development, website creation, smart grid technologies, and more.

Young Women in Computing (YWiC)

Young Women in Computing Program (YWiC) is an outreach initiative with the vision to increase the participation in computer science (CS) activities and experiences for all students. YWiC focuses on multidimensional program components such as in-school presentations, after-school programming, summer programs, state-wide competitions, social networking, forums and conferences, plus teacher-program collaborations that will leverage the available resources across opportunities. If you are planning a field trip to NMSU, connect with YWiC and schedule a one-hour workshop for up to 25 participants!

For more information, visit https://ywic.nmsu.edu.

GK-12 DISSECT: DIScover SciEnce through Computational Thinking

The overarching concept behind the DISSECT (DIScover SciEnce through Computational Thinking) project is scientific computational thinking. DISSECT enables CS graduate students to investigate the relevance of their research in the broader scientific arena, and to develop communication, leadership, and team working skills to operate outside their specific CS discipline. At the same time, traditional approaches to exposing young students to computing rely on introducing computing as a separate discipline, using high-level languages, with their idiosyncrasies; real world applications are introduced as illustration of computing concepts, often as an afterthought. DISSECT proposes to proceed in the opposite direction, by introducing computational thinking as a problem-solving methodology in the context of existing STEM courses.

For more information, visit http://www.cs.nmsu.edu/gk-12/.

 Center for Smart Grid Technologies

Smart grids and smart buildings are growing in size and impact, with New Mexico providing the ideal environment for new applications of energy use and power applications. The Center for Smart Grids is creating outreach workshops that will support the vision of broadening the understanding and application of this technology across all populations in NM. Workshops and summer camp experiences support one of the primary goals of the Center: to increase the number of trained scientists and engineers in smart grid technologies, and introduce educational opportunities that might be of interest to those looking to specialize in smart grid technologies.

For more information, visit https://icredits.nmsu.edu/.