Bringing Computer Science to K-12 Classrooms

An interdisciplinary team of Montclair researchers is tackling one of New Jersey’s pressing educational challenges – a lack of computer science resources and professional development programming for K-12 schools and teachers.

computer science students

Computer Science Associate Professor Katherine Herbert and College of Education and Human Services Acting Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Sumi Hagiwara are overseeing more than $1.2 million in grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the New Jersey Department of Education to create support programs, resources, professional development programming and opportunities for northern New Jersey teachers to increase computer science offerings in elementary education.

As part of the NSF’s Answers and Research Experience for Teachers programs, two collaborative grants (No. 2149750 and No. 2206885) administered alongside NJIT, Rutgers and the University of West Virginia, provide resources to allow K-12 teachers to visit Montclair to work in on-campus research and teaching labs to develop modules for their classes based on their individual research experiences.

The grants follow Montclair’s launch of its online graduate certificate program in K-12 Computer Science Teaching in 2020, the first of its kind in New Jersey, designed for equity-oriented teachers seeking to meet demand for high-quality computer science education.