Beauty and Joy of Computing
Seven out of the 10 largest STEM occupations are computer related, and projected employment in computer science-related fields continues to grow. Yet many students, especially Black and Latinx students, don’t have access to a computer science course at their school. EDC is at the forefront of a nationwide “Computer Science for All” movement to respond to this shortage by bringing computer science learning to more K–12 classrooms.
With funding from the National Science Foundation, EDC led the Bringing a Rigorous Computer Science Principles Course to New York City (BJC4NYC) partnership. The partnership’s goal was to introduce more NYC public high school students to high-quality computer science courses, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses, with a special emphasis on attracting and keeping students from groups historically underrepresented in computer science fields.
With its partners, EDC carried out several strategic strands of work:
- Developed a high school AP Computer Science Principles course rooted in the Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) curriculum from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
- Provided professional development and implementation support for teachers both inside and outside of NYC to prepare them to teach the course
- Scaled up the project over seven years to reach over 200 NYC teachers and an estimated 25,000 NYC students, as well as many additional teachers and students nationwide
- The BJC curriculum developed by EDC and UCB is endorsed by the College Board as an AP Computer Science Principles curriculum.
- As of 2021, more than 200 NYC teachers and 600 non-NYC teachers have participated in BJC professional development.
- Over 70% of BJC students passed the 2021 AP CSP exam nationwide, which compares favorably to the overall pass rate of 66% in the United States.
- Female BJC students passed the 2021 AP CSP exam at a rate of 6.4 percentage points higher, Black BJC students passed at 1.2 points higher, and Hispanic BJC students at passed 4.6 points higher than the national average.
- The paper Design Principles behind Beauty and Joy of Computing, authored by Paul Goldenberg, June Mark, Brian Harvey, Al Cuoco, and Mary Fries, was selected as Best Paper, Curriculum Initiatives at SIGCSE 2020.
University of California, Berkeley; New York City Department of Education; North Carolina State University; NYC Foundation for Computer Science Education; Haynie Research and Evaluation